Be Smart if You See Flood Waters!
Stay safe- avoid driving through or coming in contact with flood waters. Six inches of fast flowing water can knock you off your feet and less than a meter of water can float car. Flood water can be contaminated with sewage or other pollutants. There could also be hazards below the surface, like debris, that you cannot see. Make sure you are tuned into Miami Beach social media and local weather alerts. Report any flooding to the city via the e-Gov app or by calling 305.604.CITY.
Indian Creek Blvd flooding, prior to infrastructure upgrades.
Keep your Home and Belongings Dry
There are many simple ways a homeowner can reduce the risk of flood damage. Consider elevating important appliances, like washers and dryers. Choose materials such as tile flooring as opposed to wood, that are resistant to water damage. You can also redirect rain and flood waters through techniques like elevated driveway edges. If you lease your property or business, we recommend discussing your flood protection options with your landlord or property owner.
Build Resiliently and Know Your Elevation
If you are considering renovation, build resiliently and sustainably! Follow the Florida Building Code and the City of Miami Beach Code to reduce your flood risk. We suggest contacting a professional architect or engineer for advice on how to integrate resilience, sustainability, and flood protection into your design. The city participates in the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. PACE is a financial platform that eliminates the barrier of high upfront costs by allowing property owners to pay off energy efficient and storm mitigation home improvements through an assessment on their property tax bill.
An Elevation Certificate is an important document that every homeowner should have, and in case of a disaster, would demonstrate local authorities that your house is at or above the required elevation. An elevation certificate will not only tell you how high your house was built in relation to that flood zone but can potentially lower your insurance premiums. Miami Beach has been collecting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Elevation Certificate that is prepared by a professional land surveyor on behalf of home builders/developers since 1995 as they are required for all new construction and substantial improvements to a structure. Click here for a list of addresses with available elevation certificates.
If the elevation certificate shows that the lowest floor of your house is lower than the required flood design elevation, then the substantial improvement “50% rule” would apply to your house. This rule means that if your house is in a flood zone and is damaged and/or improved to an amount greater than 50% of its building market value, the lowest floor will have to be raised to meet the current elevation requirement.
Our Natural Systems Protect Us Against Floods
Dune vegetation and coral reef systems are two important elements in storm protection. These natural flood barriers serve as the first line of coastal defense by buffering wave energy, blocking storm surge, and protecting coastal infrastructure. Open green space and natural low-lying areas can help with drainage. Landscaping can be designed to flood during rain events or high tides.
Have a plan! South Florida can experience flooding from hurricanes and King Tides. For the 2018 HURRICANE GUIDE , please click here.
Know your evacuation routes in the case of a storm, and how to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Keep it Clean!
Don’t litter! Keep storm drains clear of litter and debris to prevent flooding and keep Biscayne Bay clean. Report issues to the free Miami Beach e-Gov app or call 305.604.CITY.
Information is available on limited federal financial assistance and loans for properties that have experienced damage. Learn more through the Grants Office at 305.673.7510.
Miami Beach is Here to Help
The Building Department offers free technical assistance to identify ways to reduce flood hazards. Call 305.673.7610 to learn more.
What about sea level rise?
Miami Beach and its challenges with sea level rise are a common theme in global conversations regarding climate change. As a low lying coastal city, our geographic location and topography make us inherently vulnerable to flooding, storm surge, and other climate change impacts. The City is working diligently to convert these challenges into opportunities, starting with adaptation initiatives such as the installation of pump stations, rising of roads, and other innovative drainage improvements that are informed by the latest scientific data provided by the Southeast Florida Climate Change Compact.
It is important to note that any personal property improvements to reduce flood risk will also reduce risk in the future as sea levels continue to rise.
More information on the Unified Sea Level Rise Projection can be found at: www.southeastfloridaclimatecompact.org
Are you a real estate agent?
The City of Miami Beach has developed an informational fact sheet for you to share with prospective property owners. The fact sheet highlights information about flood risk and flood insurance, along with resources to reduce personal risk and how the city is reducing risk through public infrastructure improvements.