New Whidbey Island FEMA Flood Zone Maps

by Linda

in Events,Island Lifestyle,Real Estate Today,Whidbey Island

FEMA flood zone maps are a subject of vital importance to every owner and resident of beach property on Whidbey Island. In April 2016, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will issue new Flood Zone Maps for Whidbey Island. Those new maps may have a significant impact on you if you live in a beach community.

FEMA LogoFirst a little background on the Flood Zone Map changes. Established in April 1979, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made. One of the responsibilities of FEMA is to provide detailed flood maps and hazard information in support of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for coastal areas in the US.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is aimed at reducing the impact of flooding on private and public structures. This is achieved by providing affordable insurance for property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of Risk Insurance in general, and National Flood Insurance in particular.
Flood insurance is not mandatory, but if you have a mortgage, it is highly likely your lender requires flood insurance, and the rates are determined in part by the flood zone designation where your home is located. If you do not have a home mortgage, you are not required to carry flood insurance, but can obtain flood insurance for your home in the same manner as those who must, through insurance companies.


Flood_ZonesFEMA Flood ZonesFEMA recently released Draft flood zone maps to select local insurance agents, surveyors, county officials and other professionals directly involved for their input and comments. After review of that input, FEMA will release Preliminary maps to the public.

The tentative release date of the Preliminary maps is March 2015. After the preliminary maps are issued, FEMA will establish a 90 day appeal period, where individual homeowners can appeal their flood zone designation directly with representatives of FEMA. It is very important that you review the Preliminary flood maps to see how you might be impacted.

If you would like to receive a notice when the Preliminary maps are available, please email me at and I will send you an email as soon as they have been released with a link to the correct page at the FEMA website.

Flood maps and insurance are a very complicated topic, and it is going to be important that you have the assistance of subject matter professionals. Fortunately we have those professionals in our community, and they will be able to help you determine what, if any, impact this may have on you, and if appropriate, what options you have to mitigate the impact of those changes.

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