Everything you need to know about elevation certificates
Elevation certificates are important documents for homeowners who live in areas that are prone to flooding or storm surge, particularly on waterfront properties. Here is everything you need to know about elevation certificates on waterfront property:
What is an elevation certificate?
An elevation certificate is a document that shows the elevation of a structure, typically a home or business, in relation to the surrounding land. It is used to determine the risk of flooding or storm surge in the event of severe weather.
Why is an elevation certificate important for waterfront property?
Waterfront property is often at greater risk for flooding and storm surge, especially during hurricane season. An elevation certificate provides valuable information to homeowners, insurance companies, and government agencies about the level of risk for flooding and how to mitigate that risk.
What information does an elevation certificate contain?
An elevation certificate includes information about the property, such as the address, owner’s name, and date of construction, as well as the elevation of the lowest floor of the building, the height of any attached structures, and the base flood elevation (BFE) of the property.
How is the base flood elevation (BFE) determined?
The BFE is determined by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and is based on a complex analysis of factors such as topography, hydrology, and historical flood data. The BFE is the level at which floodwaters are expected to rise during a 100-year flood event, which has a 1% chance of occurring in any given year.
What is the significance of the base flood elevation?
Knowing the BFE is important because it helps determine the flood insurance premium for the property. If the structure is located below the BFE, it is considered to be in a high-risk flood zone, and the flood insurance premium will be higher.
In conclusion, elevation certificates are an important tool for waterfront property owners to assess the risk of flooding and storm surge. They provide valuable information for insurance companies and government agencies and can help homeowners take steps to mitigate the risk of flooding and protect their property in the event of a severe weather event.
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Marcus Walker, BCCS – Waters Edge Realty
Baldwin County Certified Specialist