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Flood Insurance FAQ's

Many older homes in flood zones have long benefited from a subsidy that kept flood insurance rates very low. Starting next month, those homeowners will typically see annual rates jump more than 25 percent, including a fee for a new reserve fund.

Can you do anything to fight higher rates? Yes!

– Obtain an elevation certificate to show how high your home is compared with flood levels. There is an initial cost, but it may help reduce your rate.
Murphy’s Land Surveying specialize in surveys and elevation certificates,

Review your flood zone maps to see your property’s current flood risk and how close it is to a potential change in risk status if a new map is adopted.

And don’t let your policy lapse, this could be a trigger for a big rate increase.

Call Rachel Keeser at Commonwealth Insurance of Seminole on 727-392-1090 or email
and she will be happy to give you a competitive flood quote after you have an elevation certificate.

Other Links:
Interactive Map for NFIP Subsidized Policies by State and County
FEMA: Homeowner’s Guide to Elevation Certificates
FEMA: Flood Insurance Rate Maps
FEMA: Flood Insurance Rate Maps

Pinellas County – Know Your Evacuation Zone?

In order to know when to evacuate for hurricane surge flooding,
you must KNOW YOUR ZONE! Keep in mind,
you evacuate to avoid deadly surge flooding.

There are many ways to learn your zone.
Pinellas County’s Evacuation Level Lookup has a new feature for you. Enter your address and you will be provided not only information on your evacuation level, but also the closest shelter, the closest special needs shelter and the closest hotel accommodations.

Call the Pinellas County Interactive Hurricane Evacuation Inquiry Line at (727) 453-3150 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (727) 453-3150 and key in your home phone number without the area code to hear your home’s evacuation zone.
Call Pinellas County Emergency Management at (727) 464-3800 (727) 464-3800 for help looking up your home’s evacuation level. Regular business hours are from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Your evacuation zone is printed on your Pinellas County Utility bills and the Truth in Millage (TRIM) Notices sent by the Property Appraiser.
To learn more, go the the Evacuation Level FAQ page

Remember, all residents living in mobile homes/manufactured homes must evacuate, even if their homes are located in a non-evacuation area.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

When it comes to evacuating there are many decisions to make. One of those choices is whether to stay in Pinellas County or drive hundreds of miles to an out-of-town location.

Finding high ground in Pinellas County is possible. The green areas on the map to the right are high enough to not be impacted by surge flooding from any hurricane. Even for a Category 5, a structure in these areas that is hardened to withstand high winds can provide safe shelter.

Evacuating tens of miles to shelter within the county has its advantages. You can avoid traffic jams and the uncertainty that comes with hitting the crowded highways as other counties evacuate along with Pinellas. You can avoid going elsewhere in the state only to find that the storm has shifted and now you are in harm’s way. And, you will avoid the crowds when it comes time to head home.