Preliminary Federal Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM)
The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has presented the City of Valdez with Preliminary copies of the updated Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) for the City of Valdez, Alaska. FEMA has posted digital copies of the preliminary FIRM and FIS report materials for community members to review at the following website:
FEMA will be scheduling a formal public meeting/workshop in early 2017. Comments may be sent to:
STARR Region X Service Center
20700 44th Ave W
Lynnwood, WA 98036
Over the last several years FEMA has been working in an extensive effort to update the FEMA issued Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). The regulatory FIRM identifies the Community’s flood zones, base flood elevations, and floodplain boundaries.
This map is used to determine where the purchase of flood insurance is required for properties with federally-backed mortgages and is used by Staff to determine areas of development requiring floodplain development permits.
The current effective regulatory maps that the City uses to determine Special Flood Hazard Areas were originally done in 1983 with limited quality data. FEMA has published the preliminary FEMA FIRM maps based on new studies. The next step will be for FEMA to conduct a Consultation Coordination Officers (CCO)/Public Meeting. The CCO meeting will provide the community with an opportunity to ask questions about the updated maps and flood study and get an understanding of the path forward.
The following table illustrates FEMA's project status and includes major milestones with dates:
Understanding the Proposed Changes
There are several ways in which new delineated flood zones can effect a property owner.
→ The flood insurance premium rates for a property that is shown outside the SFHA on the effective FIRM are lower than the rates for a structure inside the SFHA.
→ If a new FIRM becomes effective for your community and your structure is now in a SFHA and you have federally related financing for your property and have not already purchased a flood insurance policy, your lender is required by law to document the flood zone determination and require that you purchase flood insurance. A 30-day waiting period follows the purchase of a flood insurance policy before it goes into effect. There are exceptions to the 30-day waiting period for policies purchased in connection with the making, increasing, extending or renewing a loan or certain map changes. If you do not purchase the insurance within 45 days after being informed that flood insurance is required, the lender is required to force-place the insurance and charge you for the cost.
→ If you do not have federally related financing, insurance is still available to you. Please contact your insurance agent for more information, the purchase of flood insurance is a prudent means of protecting your financial interests.
→Learn how map changes affect flood insurance: https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/understanding_flood_maps/map_changes_flood.jsp