Flood Map Modernization Program
Flood Maps Overview
Osceola County has undertaken a multi-year project to re-examine flood zones and develop detailed, digital flood hazard maps. The new maps reflect current flood risks, replacing maps that are over 10 years old. The current effective FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for Osceola County is dated June 6, 2001.
As a result of this project, property owners throughout Osceola County will have up-to-date, reliable, Internet-accessible information about their flood risk - on a property-by-property basis. As a stakeholder in Osceola County's future, you should be aware of how the maps are changing and why - and how the changes will affect residents and business owners alike.
For additional information on Flood Maps or if you have questions contact:
Osceola County, Community Development Office
1 Courthouse Square, Suite 1400
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Phone: (407) 742-0200
Flood Hazard Maps Online
The proposed FEMA Flood Hazard Maps are now available on the Osceola County Maps website.
In order to view these maps, please follow these instructions:
- Click here to visit maps.osceola.org.
- If you are a first time visitor, read over the "Disclaimer Agreement" form and click the "Accept Disclaimer Agreement" button.
- Click the "FEMA Floodplain Information" on the left side of the main map viewer.
Should you experience any problems viewing this information, please call the Community Development Department at (407) 742-0200.
Flood Maps: A Risk Management Must
Flood hazard maps, also known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), are important tools in the effort to protect lives and properties in Osceola County. By showing the extent to which areas of the county - and individual properties - are at risk for flooding, flood maps help business and property owners make better financial decisions about protecting their property. These maps also allow community planners, local officials, engineers, builders and others to make important determinations about where and how new structures and developments should be built.
A Better Picture of Flood Hazards
Over time, water flow and drainage patterns have changed dramatically due to surface erosion, land use and natural forces. The likelihood of inland and riverine flooding in certain areas has changed along with these factors. New digital mapping techniques will provide more detailed, reliable and current data on county flood hazards. The result: a better picture of the area's most likely to be impacted by flooding and a better foundation from which to make key decisions.
The flood map modernization project is a joint effort between Osceola County and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in cooperation with municipal, association and private sector partners.
Flood Insurance Requirements and Options
When the new maps are adopted, flood insurance requirements will change. However, options exist that will allow property owners to save money while still protecting their property.
|If Maps Show...||These Requirements, Options, and Savings Apply|
|Change from low or moderate flood risk to high risk||
Flood insurance is mandatory. Flood insurance will be federally required for most mortgage holders.* Insurance costs may rise to reflect the true (high) risk.
Grandfathering offers savings. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has "grandfathering" rules to recognize policyholders who have built in compliance with the flood map or who maintain continuous coverage. An insurance agent can provide more details on how to save.
|Change from high flood risk to low or moderate risk||
Flood insurance is optional, but recommended. The risk has only been reduced, not removed. Flood insurance can still be obtained, at lower rates. Twenty-25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from low- to moderate-risk areas.
Conversion offers savings. An existing policy can be converted to a lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy.
|No change in risk level||
No change in insurance rates. Property owners should talk to their insurance agent to learn their specific risk and take steps to protect their property and assets.
Flood Risks and Flood Zones
Flood maps refer to areas of high, medium or low risk as "flood hazard zones" and the zones of highest risk as "Special Flood Hazard Areas."
|Risk Level||Flood Hazard Zone|
|High Flood Risk||
AE, A, AH or AO Zone. These properties have a 1 percent chance of flooding in any year - and a 26 percent chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage.
Insurance note: High-risk areas are called Special Flood Hazard Areas, and flood insurance is mandatory for most mortgage holders.
|Low or Moderate Flood Risk||
Shaded X Zone. These properties are outside the high-risk zones. The risk is reduced but not removed.
X Zone. These properties are in an area of overall lower risk.
* Insurance note: Lower-cost preferred rate flood insurance policies (known as Preferred Risk Policies) are often an option in these areas.
Information for Builders
How New Flood Hazard Maps Affect Construction (Engineers, Surveyors, Developers)
Osceola County uses the results of the most current set of Flood Insurance Rate Maps and its accompanying Flood Insurance Study to guide compliance and site planning. The new, revised Flood Maps will be considered the "best available data" and used for new construction when they illustrate more restrictive (higher base flood elevations) than the current effective flood maps.
Base Flood Elevations on the new maps are related to the North American Vertical Datum, 1988 (NAVD 88).
Information for Realtors
How New Flood Hazard Maps Affect Real Estate Agents
As a real estate agent, you'll want to disclose any changes in flood risk levels to your clients, and tell them about flood insurance requirements and options. Not to do so puts you at risk. Buyers whose property will be mapped into an area of high risk can save on flood insurance before new maps are adopted through a "grandfathering" provision. More information on grandfathering is available on the Insurance Information page.
As a Listing Agent, Check the Risk Level
The lister should disclose if the property is now or will be in a high-risk area (Special Flood Hazard Area). Ask if the owner has a flood insurance policy to transfer to the purchaser. This maintains the benefit of a "Grandfathered" policy.
Tell Buyers about Flood Insurance Requirements
To avoid liability, you need to make buyers aware of any upcoming changes in flood risk status. You should also disclose any flood insurance requirements. When the new maps are adopted, flood insurance requirements will change. However, many property owners can save if they purchase their insurance prior to map adoption - a process known as "grandfathering" or assume the current owner's flood insurance policy. More information is available on the Insurance Information page.