National Flood Insurance Program
In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to provide affordable flood insurance to individuals who live in areas with the greatest risk of flooding called Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs). The SFHA is that portion of the floodplain subject to inundation by the base flood (1% annual chance) and/or flood related erosion hazards. The SFHAs are typically depicted in the new format Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) as Zones A, AE, AH, AO, AR, A99, and V. Development may take place within the SFHA, provided that development complies with local floodplain management ordinances, which must meet the minimum Federal requirement.
The NFIP makes federally backed flood insurance available in communities that agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. This is important because property owners who hold a federally backed mortgage must purchase flood insurance if the property is located within the SFHAs.
During the rainy season, the continuous downpours saturate and, on occasion, over saturate the ground; reducing the capacity of the Stormwater Drainage System. This may cause some temporary flooding along city streets and/or private property, creating potentially dangerous conditions.
The City of Doral maintains a database that contains copies of finished construction elevation certificates for all new and substantially improved buildings. To see if an elevation certificate is on file for your building,
please click here.
FLOOD WARNING AND RESPONSE
The City of Doral Public Works Department has developed a flood warning and response plan. The purpose of the plan is to provide information for early flood recognition and warning dissemination, establish response and emergency response actions, establish post-flood recovery actions, and develop community awareness. Through the implementation of the Flood Warning and Response Plan (FWRP) the City’s main goal of minimizing public and private property losses, while protecting the public safety in an efficient and cost-effective manner is achieved. The FWRP does not prevent flood disasters, but enables public response actions to be timely. Flood Warning and Response Plan
LOCAL MITIGATION STRATEGY
The City of Doral is an active participant in the Miami-Dade County Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS). The LMS is a whole community initiative designed to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from hazards. The LMS plan is a multi-volume plan that documents the planning process and addresses mitigation measures in relation to the hazard risk and vulnerability assessment of Miami-Dade County. For more information please visit the Miami-Dade County LMS website
Part 7 of the LMS specifically addresses flooding, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and the Community Rating System (CRS):
Real time Rain Gauge
Know your hazard
… that floods are the most common natural disaster?
- Your property may be located in a SFHA. To determine the flood zone for your property contact the City of Doral Building Department for a flood zone determination at 305-593-6700 or Use Doral 311 first enter the address, then in the service area choose “BUILDING”, then in the service type choose “Flood Zone Determination”.
- … and even if you’re not in a SFHA (Special Flood Hazard Area), FLOODS HAPPEN. Mother Nature doesn’t know how to read FIRMs (Flood Insurance Rate Maps). Even Zone “X” is STILL a low-risk flood zone.… and even if you’re not in a SFHA (Special Flood Hazard Area), FLOODS HAPPEN. Mother Nature doesn’t know how to read FIRMs (Flood Insurance Rate Maps). Even Zone “X” is STILL a low-risk flood zone.
- The City of Doral is currently rated at a “7” in the CRS (Community Rating System) Program and policyholders receive a 15% discount on insurance premiums for properties in the SFHA (5% in non-SFHA) due to the City’s participation in the program and strict enforcement of the floodplain ordinance.
Insure your property
Did you know that Homeowner’s and/or windstorm insurance does not cover flood damage to a structure?
- Federally backed mortgages (FHA, VA, FNMA etc.) and most private mortgages (Conventional) require flood insurance. In the event that your mortgage does not have this provision or if you own your property free and clear, you should still consider purchasing flood insurance. Remember, there is a thirty (30) day waiting period before the policy becomes effective. There are two exceptions: (1) If the initial purchase of flood insurance is in connection with the making, increasing, extending, or renewing of a loan, there is no waiting period. (2) If the initial purchase of flood insurance is made during the 13-month period following the revision or update of a FIRM for the community, there is a 1-day waiting period.
- The City participates in the Community Rating System (CRS), which provides discounted flood insurance rates on all policies written in the City.
Protection from flooding
Here are some safety tips to consider, if you are ever faced with flooding.
- If you are advised to evacuate, turn off all utilities at the main switches or valves. Disconnect electrical appliances, but do not touch any electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Designate a place where your family can rendezvous if an evacuation order is issued.
- Rehearse your evacuation plan with all household members. Plan to leave early to avoid traffic delays.
- Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths. Currents can be deceptive; six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
- Look before you step. The ground and floors may be covered with debris and mud.
- If you walk in standing water, use a pale or stick to ensure that the ground is still there.
- Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Electrocution is the number two flood killer. Electrical currents can run through water. Report downed power lines to Florida Power & Light at (305) 442-8770.
- Do not attempt to drive through large puddles or moving flood waters.
- Do not disregard road barriers, the road or bridge may be washed out.
- Look out for animals, especially snakes that may have been displaced by the flood.
- Be alert for gas leaks. If you use natural gas, use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Do not smoke or use candles.
- Remember to arrange for your pets. Most evacuation centers will not accept pets. Make plans in advance to board your pets in a kennel or with friends outside the hazard area.
Protect your property
- Place sandbags or similar barriers between floodwaters and your structure.
- Place your valuables and important papers in a plastic bags or waterproof containers and relocate them to the highest floor.
- Secure your boat. If possible, store it inside a garage or warehouse. If outside, make sure the boat is secure to the trailer and the trailer is tied down.
All new buildings or renovations to existing buildings require permits. These permits must be obtained prior to commencement of construction activities.
- Before you build, alter, re-grade, or fill your property contact the Building Department at 305-593-6700.
- Know the substantial improvement and damage rules. Contact the Building Department 305-593-6700 or
download Substantial Improvement/Substantial Damage Desk Reference
- If you see any building or filling without a permit posted, please call our Code Compliance Department at 305-593-6680.
Protect the natural floodplain functions
Proper drainage helps reduce the risk of flooding. It is illegal for the direct or indirect entry of any solid, liquid or gaseous matter into the drainage system other than rainwater runoff. The City periodically inspects the drainage system and regularly schedules debris removal operations in order to keep the drainage system at peak performance. You can help in this process by keeping the streets clear of materials and debris that could potentially affect the drainage system.
- Please report any illegal dumping activities that may affect drainage and/or contaminate the ground water to the Public Works Department at (305) 593-6740.
For more information regarding flood damage prevention, insurance needs and requirements please call the City of Doral Building Department at (305) 593-6700.
Flood Protection Assistance
The City of Doral flood protection assistance program provides information on property protection, how to obtain funding for your flood mitigation project, and can perform a site visit to determine possible flood hazards. For more information please contact the City of Doral Building Department at 305-593-6700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FEMA Informational links
- Above the Flood: Elevating Your Floodprone House, FEMA-347 (2000)
- Answers to Questions About the National Flood Insurance Program, F-084 (2011)
- Elevated Residential Structures, FEMA-54 (1984)
- Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards, FEMA P-85 (2009)
- Protecting Building Utilities From Flood Damage, FEMA-P-348 (1999)
- Protecting Floodplain Resources, FEMA-268 (1996)
- Reducing Damage from Localized Flooding, FEMA 511 (2005)
- FEMA P-312 Homeowners Guide to Retrofitting 3rd Edition
- Selecting Appropriate Mitigation Measures for Floodprone Structures
- FEMA additional resources and documents
- FEMA for Kids
- Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM's) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS)
- FEMA Map Service Center (MSC)
Other helpful links
- South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)
- Florida Division of Emergency Management
- USGS Real Time Water Data for Florida
- Miami-Dade County Flood Map Property Search
- Slab on grade construction from the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service
- Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) Preparing for a Flood with Flood Insurance