Protecting Building Utility Systems from Flood Damage
National Flood Insurance Program
This community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP makes federally backed flood insurance available for all buildings, whether they are in a floodplain or not. Flood insurance covers direct losses caused by surface flooding, including a river flowing over its banks, a lake or ocean storm, and local drainage problems.
The NFIP insures buildings, including mobile homes, with two types of coverage: structural and contents. Structural coverage is for the walls, floors, insulation, furnace, and other items permanently attached to the structure. Contents coverage may be purchased separately provided the contents are in an insurable building.
Mandatory Purchase Requirement
The mandatory purchase requirement applies to all forms of federal or federally related financial assistance for buildings located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). This requirement affects loans and grants for the purchase, construction, repair, or improvement of any publicly or privately owned building in the SFHA, including machinery, equipment, fixtures, and furnishings contained in such buildings.
Financial assistance programs affected include loans and grants from agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, Farmers Home Administration, Federal Housing Administration, Small Business Administration, and Federal Emergency Management Agency. The requirement also applies to secured mortgage loans from financial institutions, such as commercial lenders, savings and loan associations, savings banks, and credit unions that are regulated, supervised or insured by federal agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of Thrift Supervision. It also applies to all mortgage loans purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in the secondary mortgage market.
How It Works
Before a person can receive a loan or other financial assistance from one of the affected agencies or lenders, there must be a check to see if the building is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The SFHA is the base (100-year) floodplain mapped on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). It is shown as one or more zones that begin with the letter "A" or "V."
Copies of the FIRM are available for review in the City’s Engineering Department as well as in the City’s Library. Many lenders and insurance agents also have copies. It is the agency’s or the lender’s responsibility to check the FIRM to determine if the building is in an SFHA, although many communities provide assistance.
If the building is in an SFHA, the agency or lender is required by law to require the recipient to purchase a flood insurance policy on the building. The requirement is for structural coverage equal to the amount of the loan (or other financial assistance) or the maximum amount available, whichever is less. The maximum amount available for a single-family house is $250,000.
The mandatory purchase requirement does not affect loans or financial assistance for items that are not covered by a flood insurance policy, such as vehicles, business expenses, landscaping, and vacant lots. It does not affect loans for buildings that are not in the SFHA, even though a portion of the lot may be flood prone. While not mandated by law, a lender may require a flood insurance policy as a condition of a loan for a property in any zone on a Flood Insurance Rate Map.
Community Rating System
The City of Peachtree City is a participant in the Community Rating System (CRS) Program administered by the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) as a component of the National Flood Insurance Program.
As a CRS member, the City provides flood hazard map information upon request by contacting the Engineering Department at (770) 631-2538. Information such as floodplain determinations, Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Panel information and other locally pertinent data is available. For example, the Engineering Department can provide:
- floodway information
- flood depth data
- historical FIRM panels
- property location relative to sensitive or wetland areas
- additional information not shown on FIRM panels such as locally determined 100-year floodplain and future conditions floodplain elevations. This locally determined information can also be viewed via the Peachtree City Floodplain Map.
In addition to the FIRM panels, the City Building Department also maintains elevation certificates for structures that are in or may be on a parcel which is in the floodplain. Please contact them at (770) 487-8901 to request any copies which may be needed.
In an effort to keep the community informed the City provides an outreach document (PDF) to those who are in or are adjacent to the floodplain as well as general city-wide information via the City’s weekly email UPDATE Newsletter.