Local Flood Hazard Information

Flood Awareness

Do you know your flood hazard? Floods can happen anywhere and just an inch of floodwater can cause up to $25,000 in damage. If your neighborhood were to flood, would you know what to do?

Your property might be located in or near a flood-prone area. Take a moment to learn ways to prepare and protect yourself and your home from flooding risks below.


Flood Hazard Areas


The City of Homestead properties includes properties mapped by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) and other flood areas (Zone X) and as such, all properties are vulnerable to flooding. These regulated floodplains are illustrated on flood maps call Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). SFHAs are subject to flood by the one percent annual chance flood event. During the standard 30-year life mortgage, structures located in SFHAs will have a twenty-six percent chance of flooding. Properties not located in the SFHAs are not guaranteed to be safe from flooding and should prepare for possible flooding. FEMA's FIRM maps are available to view, at no cost, at msc.fema.gov/portal

Urban areas can greatly affect the natural drainage patterns. Increased amounts of pavement reduce the ability for rainwater to be absorbed, increasing the volume of runoff. Precipitation from a heavy rain can cause urban flooding. In some cases, this type of flood can be devastating to the local area but may not qualify for federal or state assistance. In these cases, flood insurance may be the only financial assistance consumers can get other than personal loans.


City of Homestead Flooding Sources


Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean are located in close proximity to the City which can lead to different forms of flooding. Some possible sources of flooding in the City are:

  • Surface Water Flooding: Heavy rainfall that overwhelms the drainage system causing water to flow out into streets and nearby structures.
  • Tidal Flooding: Temporary flooding of low-lying areas near the coast.
  • Storm Surge: The rise of water levels caused by hurricanes and tropical storms.
  • Riverine Flooding: Heavy and prolonged rainfall that increases the volume of water in a waterway (canals or channels) exceeding the waterway's capacity.
Click here to view NOAA's Sea Level Rise Viewer


Flood Insurance


Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damages and losses due to flooding. The City of Homestead participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that makes flood insurance available to everyone in the City. We strongly urge you to buy flood insurance to protect yourself from a devastating loss. Information about flood insurance policies should be available to you through your insurance agent. Call your insurance agent now so that you will be prepared for future events. Do not wait for a disaster. Please be advised that there is a standard 30-day waiting period, from the date or purchase, before a new flood policy goes into effect.

Click here to view the City's Flood Insurance page. To purchase flood insurance, call your insurance company or insurance agent. If you need help finding a provider, go to www.FloodSmart.gov/flood-insurance-provider or call the NFIP at 877-336-2627. 


Community Rating System (CRS)


City of Homestead participates in the Community Rating System (CRS) of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). CRS provides incentive for a community does beyond the NFIP’s minimum requirements to reduce flood risk. The CRS is a voluntary incentive program that rewards community actions that reduce flood risk through discounted flood insurance rates. Flood insurance premium rates in CRS communities are discounted in increments of five percent. A Class 9 community receives a five percent discount for all policies in its Special Flood Hazard Areas. 


Property Protection & Safety


Every year, flooding causes more property damage in the United States than any other type of natural disaster. While recent construction practices and regulations have made new homes and those undergoing substantial improvement or damage less prone to flooding, many existing structures remain susceptible.
In the event of flood threats, it is advisable to take the following emergency actions:
1. Elevate furniture and valuables to higher areas of the dwelling to minimize damages.
2. Sandbags can be placed in vulnerable areas of a structure to help slow flood water from entering and reaching your possessions.
3. Create flood way openings in non-habitable areas (eg. garages, storage areas) and make sure that their openings are not obstructed.
4. Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
5. Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away. TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN!


Be Prepared


There are many ways to protect yourself and family, here are a few examples:
1. Create an emergency plan and talk with your family about what to do if a flood watch or warning is issued.
2. Make sure you have access to NOAA radio broadcasts.
3. Keep important policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box. Keep then in a safe place less likely to be damaged during a flood. Take pictures on a phone and keep copies of important documents and files on a flashdrive that you can carry with you on your house or car keys.
4. Inventory and photograph your home's contents.
5. Keep an emergency supply including non-perishable food, water, batteries, flashlights, manual can opener, and a battery-operated radio.
6. Avoid low-lying areas and seek shelter in the highest area possible.
7. Listen to local radio stations, NOAA radio, or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
8. Be prepared to evacuate quickly and know your routes and destinations. Click here for Miami-Dade County emergency evacuation orders, centers, bus pickup sites.


Flood Zone Maps


The Building Safety Division in the Development Services Department maintains flood zone maps that are available to the public. The Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is an essential product of the Flood Insurance Study, which shows a community’s base flood elevations, flood zones, floodplain boundaries and flood data for both floodplain management and insurance rating programs. The FIRM zone designations are based on 100-year flood. The 100-year flood is also referred to as Base Flood Elevation (BFE). You can also view your property Flood Zone at FEMA's website: FEMA flood maps
 
The Development Services Department may have a copy of your property's Elevation Certificate. To obtain a copy of the Elevation Certificate, please contact us at 305-224-4500.


Flood Zone Determination Letter


The City of Homestead will provide a "Flood Zone Determination" letter, at no cost, for any property located within the City of Homestead. To obtain a Flood Determination Letter for your property, please complete the Flood Zone Determination Letter Request and return by mail or email to the Building Official.
 


Floodplain Protection and Development


The land surrounding a body of water is known as a floodplain. In this area water collects, pools and flows during the course of natural events. Floodplains absorb rain and floodwater, reduce the number and severity of floods, and manage stormwater runoff, which minimizes water pollution. Protecting natural floodplain functions can help reduce flood risks and protect resources by slowing runoff and storing flood water. Local wetlands are examples of floodplains that should be protected because of their natural floodplain functions.


​Build Responsibly 

All developments or improvements including but not limited to: new construction, repairs and/or replacement work, additions, re-grade or put in fill and tree removal require a permit. Failure to obtain a permit may result in an unsafe structure, fines, and possible court action. Please contact the Development Services Department should you see development without properly displayed permits.

The City of Homestead's code states that a
ll new construction or substantially improved (meaning any repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a building or structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds fifty percent of the market value of the building or structure before the improvement or repair is started) buildings are required to be built to a finished floor elevation of one foot above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). If the structure has incurred substantial damage, any repairs are considered substantial improvement regardless of the actual repair work performed.


Stormwater Pollution


Only rain is allowed to go in the storm drains located in streets, right-of-ways, and parking lots. ONLY RAIN DOWN THE DRAIN!
 It is illegal to throw anything into lakes, canals, or other waters in the City. Dumping trash or chemicals into drains or waterways pollutes those waters, clogs the storm drains, and leads to flooding in neighborhoods. You can report any illegal dumping to the City's Compliance Division at 305-224-5580. Also, discharges of pollutants can be reported to the 24-hour Miami-Dade County Pollution Complaint Hotline at 305-372-6955.

For more information, click here to view the Stormwater Pollution Solutions brochure.


Be Aware of Other Hazards

Other hazards that you should be aware of consists of:
Sinkholes: An area of ground that has no natural external surface drainage. When it rains, the water stays inside the sinkhole and typically drains into the subface.
Wildfires: An unplanned, uncontrolled fire in an area with combustible vegetation.
Heat Waves: A period of excessively hot weather, which may be accompanied by high humidity, especially in oceanic climates.
Tornadoes: A narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground.
Tropical Storms: A rapid rotating storm originating over tropical oceans where it draws the energy to develop.
Droughts: A deficiency in precipitation over an extended period.
Hurricanes: A severe tropical storm with high winds and heavy rain. Click here to view the City's Hurricane & Emergency Management page.


Useful Contact Information


DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT

Flood Hazard Information and Technical Assistance: 305-224-4520

OTHER HELPFUL WEBSITES
Miami-Dade County: www.miamidade.gov
South Florida Water Management District: www.sfwmd.gov
Federal Emergency Management Agency: www.fema.gov
American Red Cross: www.redcross.org
Insurance institute for Business and Home Safety: www.disastersafety.org
National Flood Insurance Program: www.floodsmart.gov
Ready: www.ready.gov
Association State of Floodplain Managers: www.floods.org

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
Red Cross: Flood Safety Checklist (English / Spanish / Creole)
How to File a Flood Insurance Claim (English / Spanish)
Questions and Answers for Real Estate Professionals (English / Spanish)
Why Do I Need Flood Insurance
In or Out of the High-Risk Flood Area-Everyone Needs Flood Insurance
National Flood Insurance Program Fact Sheet 
Coming Home After a Flood
Protect your Property from Flooding
Protect your Property from Storm Surge
Protect your Property from Severe Wind
Protect your Property from Wildfire