As today marks the first day of Hurricane Season, it's important to be aware of things like flood zones and evacuation zones. Especially in hurricane season, awareness of your location in relation to these zones are important. Take a minute to search your address and see if you are in a flood or evacuation zone.
Search your Address for your Flood Zone
Just type in your address on FEMA's site here to search Flood Zones for all counties.
FEMA’s maps are confusing, so if you’re unsure about a flood zone, we recommend you contact an insurance agent for further assistance! You can also search the local county GIS mapping systems for special flood hazard areas.
Most common Pensacola area Flood Zones
- Zone X- An area of moderate flood hazard. Zone X is the most desirable in the Pensacola area as the zone denotes a minimal flood risk. Even if you are in an area of minimal flood risk, your property may be subject to flooding as we are in Florida.
- Zone A & AE- Designated as a special flood hazard area and requires you to have flood insurance when you have a loan. Zones A & AE often represent inland flooding risks.
- Zone V & VE- Designated as a special flood hazard area and requires you to carry flood insurance when you have a loan. Zones V & VE are a coastal flood designation with wave action likely.
An elevation certificate may be needed to obtain an accurate flood assessment, zone determination, and the cost for flood insurance. While not required anymore for insurance, an elevation certification may benefit your flood insurance costs.
Homeowner's Insurance and Flood Insurance
For those of you looking to buy a home, knowing the flood zone is very important as it will determine if flood insurance is required and how much that will cost. We have heard that in the near future, regardless of the flood zone, homeowners may be required to carry a flood insurance policy. Properties located in an “X” flood zone are considered the least likely to flood and tend to be the least expensive for flood insurance. As you get into the flood zones that are more likely to flood, the insurance cost will increase. This is very important to know because insurance costs have been increasing yearly for a lot of homeowners, so you want to ensure you are able to budget for these changes.
Renter's Insurance and Flood
In the event of a storm, your personal property and possessions are not covered by the homeowner's insurance. You must have a renter’s insurance policy for your contents. Unfortunately, most renter's insurance policies do not cover flood damages unless you were to purchase an extra flood insurance policy. If you do have renters insurance, you should have an inventory of items that you own in the home, including a list with serial and model numbers as well as photos or videos for documentation. Insurance experts recommend routinely taking a detailed inventory of your possessions. Take some time to complete this over the weekend if you have renter's insurance.
Search your Address for Evacuation Zones
Similarly, if you live in a waterfront community, you should definitely be familiar with evacuation zones for severe weather. Florida’s evacuation zones range from Zone A with a surge up to 7 feet to Zone E with a surge up to 20 feet above ground level. Not all properties are located in evacuation zones. Keep in mind that zones change so you should regularly monitor your evacuation zone. If you live in a mobile home or on a barrier island like Pensacola Beach or Perdido Key, you will be ordered to evacuate.
Being familiar with your Flood and Evacuation Zones is one of the best ways to prepare for Hurricane Season along the Gulf Coast.