Pinellas County, Florida

Flood Protection Information

Flood Protection Information Flood Protection Information

Click on the link "Flood Protection Information" above to view information on
any of the following subjects:

• Our Flood Hazard Area
• FEMA Flood Zones and flood zone map
• Flood Map Determinations
• Mitigation of Repetitive Loss Properties
• Permit Requirements
• Flood Safety Tips
• Flood Insurance
• Protecting Your Home
• Permit Requirements
• Substantial Improvement Requirements
• Drainage System Maintenance
• Natural and Beneficial Functions of the Floodplain
• Flood Warning
• Evacuation Routes

Purchase a Flood Insurance Policy Today!

Flood insurance is a wise investment. Floods are the number-one natural disaster in the United States. Wherever rain falls, or coastal storms rage, there can be flooding. Just a few inches of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Flood damage is not covered by most standard homeowner or business insurance policies. Disaster assistance, if it is available, is typically a loan that must be repaid with interest.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides federally backed flood insurance within communities such as the City of Indian Rocks Beach that enact and enforce floodplain regulations to regulate development in flood hazard areas.

There are approximately 3,000 flood insurance policies in force in the City of Indian Rocks Beach. This includes policies purchased by renters, who have purchased flood insurance policies to protect the contents of their residences.

For more information on flood insurance and to find an insurance agent, go to the website https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/. There is typically a 30-day waiting period after a flood insurance policy is purchased before coverage takes effect.

Elevation Certificates

It is a National Flood Insurance Program requirement that the City maintain a record of the elevation of the lowest floor of any new building or substantial improvement built in the Special Flood Hazard Area. Click on the link “Elevation Certificates” above to view the elevation certificate for your property on the “City Departments” page under the “Building Department” listing, or by phone at (727)517-0404.

Build Responsibly!

It is the purpose of the City of Indian Rocks Beach Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance and the flood load and flood-resistant construction requirements of the Florida Building Code to establish minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety, and general welfare and to minimize public and private losses due to flooding through regulation of development in flood hazard areas.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires participating counties and municipalities to issue permits for all development in the floodplain. Development is broadly defined by the NFIP to include any man-made change to land, including grading, filling, dredging, extraction, storage, subdivision of land, as well as the construction or improvement of structures. Proposed development must not increase flooding or create a dangerous situation during flooding, especially on neighboring properties. If a structure is involved, it must be constructed to minimize damage during flooding.

The permitting review is a requirement for continued community participation in the NFIP. All development (new constructions, repair and replacement work, additions, fences, etc) in Indian Rocks Beach requires a permit from the Building Department. Through this process, the City ensures development is taking place according to flood regulations. Violations can not only jeopardize a community's standing in the NFIP...they can impact the ability of residents to obtain flood insurance. If you see development occurring without permits, protect your rights by reporting violators to the City of Indian Rocks Beach Building Department at (727) 517-0404.

For further information on the requirements for floodplain development and the permitting process, please contact the Building Department at (727) 517-0404. Building Department staff will provide one-on-one consultations, site visits, and advice about property protection measures such as retrofitting techniques and drainage improvements. The City of Indian Rocks Beach Library, located at 1507 Bay Palm Boulevard, provides flood protection information, or go to the Pinellas County "Build Smart" website at http://www.pinellascounty.org/flooding/buildsmart.htm.

Refer to the Pinellas County website for a list of licensed contractors that can retrofit your property to help protect it from flood damage:

List of contractors by specialty
How to choose a contractor
Recourse if dissatisfied with your contractor

This information can also be obtained by calling the Indian Rocks Beach Building Department at (727) 517-0404

Know Your Zones!

Flood Zone and Evacuation Zone are not the same thing. They measure different conditions that may not occur at the same time, are determined by different methods, and have different purposes. Residents must check both zones. If you are in the City of Indian Rocks Beach, then you are in the Evacuation Zone “A”.

There are several ways to find your zones:

• Call the Indian Rocks Beach Planning and Zoning Department at (727) 517-0404, give your address, and be told in which flood zone your property is located.

• Go to the FEMA Map Service Center at https://msc.fema.gov/portal and type in your address to find your flood zone.

• Go to the Pinellas County website at http://www.pinellascounty.org/flooding/maps.htm. Just type in your address to find your flood zone and your evacuation zone.

It is illegal to stay in an area that is under a mandatory evacuation order! Does this mean the police will drag you out of your property? No. They will be too busy helping those who are following the evacuation. They will likely ask for your next of kin or an emergency contact. Florida Statue 252.50 sets refusal to follow an evacuation order as a second degree misdemeanor. ALWAYS FOLLOW THE PROTECTIVE ACTIONS ISSUED BY EMERGENCY OFFICIALS!

An evacuation order is given to get people away from the deadliest part of a hurricane – storm surge. Evacuation levels are based on elevation above ground that could be inundated by the surge driven ashore during a storm. If your level is ordered to go, move quickly by safely outside of the evacuation area.

Storm Surge flooding occurs when an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm is pushed toward the shore by strong winds. The City of Indian Rocks Beach is susceptible to storm surge. Visit the Storm Surge Protector Application on the Pinellas County website at http://www.pinellascounty.org/flooding/maps.htm and type in an address to see the effect that storm surge may have on a property.

Pinellas County Emergency Management

http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency

Pinellas County Flood Information

http://www.pinellascounty.org/flooding/default.htm

For information regarding:

• Indian Rocks Beach Evacuation Zones and Shelters, including special needs shelters
• How to sign-up for emergency alerts
• Danger of storm surge flooding
• Flood warning information
• Safety tips for before, during and after a flood and/or hurricane

FEMA Flood Hazard Website

http://www.fema.gov/business/nfip

Only Rain Down The Storm Drain!

Did you know that storm drains are NOT connected to sanitary sewer systems or treatment plants? In Indian Rocks Beach and all of Pinellas County, water in storm drains flows directly into our creeks, lakes, Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico without treatment. The primary purpose of storm drains is to carry rainwater away from developed areas to prevent flooding.

All residents should read important information provided by the City about drainage, the laws regarding stormdrains, construction site rules, and Best Management Practices (BMPs) that should be used to prevent urban runoff pollution and flooding. Click on the “Only Rain Down the Storm Drain” link above and go to “Streets & Drainage” under the “Public Services Department” listing.

Protect Natural Floodplain Functions

Florida's beaches are important to many user groups, from commercial fishers to wildlife watchers to the millions of vacationers that visit the state each year. In the City of Indian Rocks Beach the beach and dune system is our first line of defense against storms because it acts as a buffer between the storm waves and coastal development. During hurricanes, storm waves encounter the beach and dunes before crashing into upland structures.

You can help to keep our beautiful beach in its natural condition by observing the following rules:

• Sea oats and other beach plants help stabilize our sand dunes. Enjoy them, but don’t pick them.

• No pets are allowed on the beach.

• It is unlawful to leave litter in a public place within the City except in proper receptacles for collection. This includes cigar and cigarette butts.

• Observe our waterfront wildlife from a distance.

For more information about protecting the natural floodplain functions, go to the Pinellas County website at http://www.pinellascounty.org/flooding/floodplain.htm

Driving on Flooded Roads

The following points are important to remember when driving in flood conditions:

• Flooding can turn a familiar road into an unfamiliar and dangerous one very quickly.

• The wake created from driving on flooded roads can push water into buildings and cause thousands of dollars of damage to the buildings.

• Canals and other waterways may not be distinguishable from roads.

• If your vehicle stalls in deep water, you may need to restart the engine to make it to safety. Keep in mind that restarting may cause irreparable damage to the engine.

• Go to the Pinellas County website to learn more driving safety tips at http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/afterthestorm.htm