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Flood Map: What is It?

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In August 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He never would have been able to navigate that blue ocean and its hidden dangers, shifting tides, and deadly currents, without a map. The same theory applies to flood waters, whose risks can be charted by modern flood maps. These maps keep communities abreast of local flood possibilities. Here is some information about flood maps and how they can keep your head above water:

WHAT ARE FLOOD MAPS?

Flooding is the United States’ primary natural disaster. Hurricane Florence characterized the utter devastation that flooding can cause. However, even a few inches of water can ruin your home and its contents. (A six-inch-deep creek can explode into 10 feet of raging river in only one hour.) Flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs), created by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), inform your community about the region’s potential flood risks.

WHO USES FLOOD MAPS?

Flood maps are used by a wide variety of people and organizations. Private Citizens, realtors, and insurance agents use them to locate properties in flood insurance danger zones. Community leaders use them to enforce flood management stipulations and intercept flood damage. Federal agencies and lenders use them to decide whether or not flood insurance is necessary for loans, grants, and building construction.

DO FLOOD MAPS AFFECT INSURANCE?

Yes. A flood map determines the cost of insurance so that homeowners can financially gird themselves against costs incurred by flooding. If your degree of risk is low, your insurance premiums will also be low. Flood insurance may be mandatory in high-risk areas. Neptune Flood will use our cutting-edge fusion of technology and insurance expertise to guide you through the complexities of flood insurance selection.

DO THEY MAP REAL FLOODS?

No. They are maps of hypothetical floods, which help residents understand the areas that may be particularly susceptible to flooding.

WHAT TECHNOLOGIES ARE USED TO CREATE FLOOD MAPS?

• LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) — LIDAR simulates flow for the entire floodplain in two dimensions. This technology provides an accurate representation of where water will travel during a flood.

• TRIMR2D Computer Model — This computer program is called a flow model because it solves equations that detail the physics of fluid flow. TRIMR2D can compute equations for large areas, as well as ones that have fast flow shifts.

• Geographic Information System (GIS) — GIS is a cutting-edge technology that can be thought of as computer cartography. It pinpoints areas that are likely to be flooded, when the flood will occur, the potential water depth, and when the flood waters will peak.

WHAT TYPES OF FLOOD MAPS ARE THERE?

• Online — These are the most user-friendly flood maps. Simply go to FEMA’s digital service center, and type in your entire address. Their system will generate a highly detailed topographical on-screen flood map, along with a precise legend regarding your area’s flood risk.

• Paper — Paper flood maps specific to your community can be obtained at your local government’s zoning or planning office. One type of paper flood map is called a flat map, with multiple panels that you must assemble yourself. The other type is a one-piece Z-fold map, which resembles a folding road map.

CAN FLOODS BE PREDICTED?

They can, but not via flood maps. Prediction requires the following:

• Assessment of the amount of water falling, in real time.

• Observing the changes in the river’s height, in real time. This can foreshadow the potency of the danger and when it will hit a certain region.

• Ascertaining the storm’s duration, size and intensity. This can help predict the fierceness of a potential flood.

• Cognizance of such things as soil-moisture, ground temperature, snowpack and vegetation in forecasting a flood’s destructiveness.

WHAT TYPES OF FLOODS ARE THERE?

There are two types of floods: river floods and flash floods. As their name implies, flash floods cause greater loss of life because they leave their victims with little or no time to prepare or escape. River floods, on the other hand, typically cause more property loss because lives are spared but belongings are not. Most floods are caused by some sort of storm.

• Flash flood — This type of flood occurs when a storm’s runoff causes water height to swiftly rise. Flash floods typically happen in areas without enough soil or vegetation to obstruct the water.

• River flood — River flooding is triggered when runoff from severe rainstorms cause waters to slowly rise over a large area. They can also be caused by high tides or ice jams.

Flood maps are an excellent tool for increasing awareness of potential flood danger. They’re not perfect, though. Twenty-five percent of all flood claims are located outside of the “high risk” zones. At Neptune Flood of Pinellas Park, Florida, we offer affordable flood coverage that innovatively merges technology, math algorithms and insurance expertise. Please contact us to discuss how we can waterproof your life.