Shawnee County Flood Map Modernization

Detailed Thorough Precise.

Effect of Map Changes

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 Shawnee County. By showing the extent to which specific areas, neighborhoods 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 enable community planners, local officials, engineers, builders and others to determine where and how new structures and developments should be built.

To ensure that everyone in Shawnee County has access to the most accurate and up-to-date information about flood hazards, the new maps are being made available for public view and comment.

A Better Picture of Flood Hazards

Over time, water flow and drainage patterns can change dramatically due to surface erosion, land use and other forces. The likelihood of riverine flooding has changed along with these factors. New digital mapping techniques will provide more detailed, reliable and current data on county and local community flood hazards. The new flood hazard maps, also known as Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps or DFIRMs, present a better picture of the areas most likely to be impacted by flooding and provide a stronger foundation from which to make building and land use decisions.

As the new maps are introduced, it is important that property owners, insurers, lenders, real estate agents and brokers, developers, and builders, understand what the changes are and what the effects will be.

Some Changes

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" can offer savings. The National Flood Insurance Program has "grandfathering" rules to recognize policyholders who built in compliance with the flood map in effect at the time of construction or who maintain continuous coverage. Sometimes, though, using the new flood maps can actually result in a lower premium, especially if the home is high enough above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).
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, and at lower rates. About 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low-risk areas. Conversion offers savings. An existing policy can be easily converted to a lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy, if the building qualifies. Note that lenders always have the option to require flood insurance in these areas.
Increase in the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) An increase in BFE can result in higher premiums; however, "grandfathering" can offer savings. The National Flood Insurance Program grandfathering rules allow policyholders who have built in compliance with the flood map in effect at the time of construction to keep the earlier base flood elevation to calculate their insurance rate. This could result in significant savings.
No change in risk level No change in insurance rates. However, this is a good time to review your coverage and ensure that your building and contents are adequately protected.

Flood Zones

Flood Risks Demonstrated by 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 (SFHAs).”

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 call Special Flood Hazard Areas, and flood insurance is mandatory for most mortgage holders.
Low or Moderate 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.