Are you Ready?
We are moving into the rainy season and it looks like we are going to have a busy season at that, so, are you prepared? There have been some recent changes to the Laws pertaining to Flood Insurance and we, St. Cloud, are in a designated flood zone and should make the proper preparations just in case this is a busy hurricane or rainy season. Floodplain
The House recently passed legislation which would open up flood insurance to the private market. H.R. 2901, the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act will lower the barriers for private insurers hoping to offer flood insurance policies. This would allow greater flexibility for homeowners. Unlike under current law, homeowners in flood-prone areas would be considered to have had continuous coverage if they drop out of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and purchase private insurance instead. One of the bill’s co-authors, Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-FL) calls the passage, “a win-win for Florida families, giving them more options for flood insurance coverage and bringing down the cost of policies.”
"Private competition in this market will lead to greater innovation and more affordable and comprehensive
policies for consumers," the act's main sponsor, Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., said on the House floor during debate
Tuesday. "Unfortunately, regulatory barriers and the bias of regulators favoring National Flood Insurance Program
policies have prevented the development of a private flood insurance marketplace."
Under the earlier Flood Disaster Protection Act, mortgage borrowers in certain areas at high risk of
flooding must purchase flood insurance as a condition of their mortgage if that loan is backed by a federal guarantee.
This can include either private flood insurance or the Standard Flood Insurance Policy, or SFIP, offered by the
Federal's National Flood Insurance Program.
The City of St. Cloud’s Public Services Department is the community’s primary source of information
regarding Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM).
Flooding in St. Cloud is caused by heavy rainfall that occurs in short periods of time, and storm surges that
accompany tropical storms and hurricanes. Tropical storms and hurricanes can cause flooding, not just along a
coastline, but far inland as well.
Because of St. Cloud’s location on a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, and
because of its low lying areas, there is a flood threat from heavy storms. Due to this threat, the Federal Emergency
Management Agency has identified portions of the City as a Special Flood Hazard Area on the Flood Insurance Rate
Maps (FIRM). These maps designate areas of 100 year flood and base flood elevations.
St. Cloud has been fortunate in recent years avoiding major flooding damages associated with tropical
storms and hurricanes. The potential for flood losses in St. Cloud, however, always exists. Residents should know
and respect this flood loss potential and be prepared to deal with this hazard accordingly.
Is your property flood prone?
Because St. Cloud has Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA), it is important to know if a property falls
within a SFHA and also to know the flood insurance purchase requirements. To determine if your property is within
the FEMA designated Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) in the St. Cloud City Limits, call the City of St. Cloud
Public Services Department at (407) 957-7344, come to the Public Services Department, or complete and submit the
Flood Zone Request Form. The Flood Zone Request Form is available online in the Public Works’ Civil
Engineering folder in the Document Center. The information is also available at all the Osceola County Libraries or
online at FEMA's map center at https://msc.fema.gov. The current FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) are
available for viewing in the Public Services Department.
Copies of FEMA elevation certificates on all buildings constructed in the floodplain since 1992 are
available at the Public Services Department. All structures built within the flood hazard area will require an
elevation certificate available at the City's Building Department or in the Public Works' folder in the Document
Are You Insured?
Property losses due to flooding are not covered under most standard homeowner insurance policies.
Citizens may protect their homes and contents with flood insurance through National Flood Insurance Program
(NFIP), which is administered by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through Federal Insurance
To find out more about flood insurance for properties and contents, citizens should contact their insurance
agents. Thirty days is the usual waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect. Waiting until a storm
threatens is not recommended; securing flood insurance before it is needed is recommended.
Did You Know? All residents within the city of St. Cloud corporate limits, with property located within a
special flood hazard area, are qualified for a 15 percent reduction in their flood insurance premiums. This reduction
is due to the City of St. Cloud’s Public Services Department’s proactive efforts to assure compliance with the FEMA
and the NFIP voluntary Community Rating System (CRS) Program. The 2013 CRS audit efforts improved the
City’s CRS rating to a 7, which increased the reduction in flood insurance premium from 10 percent to 15 percent.
For more floodplain information, call 407-957- 7344