The City of Jamaica Beach is committed to providing its citizens with the knowledge and resources they can use to protect themselves and their property from flood hazards and storm surge. Education, preparedness, and prevention are valuable and proven tools that help communities become resistant to natural disasters.
Regardless of where you live, you are at risk for flooding, and Jamaica Beach’s location on the Gulf Coast leaves it especially vulnerable to tropical storms and other flood-related events. The links below have been created to serve as an “all inclusive” source for property owners in Jamaica Beach in order to increase awareness about coastal issues and flood hazards.
|Floodplains and Flood Maps|
Insurance Rate Maps
Flood Insurance Rate Maps are available for viewing at the
Jamaica Beach Building Department located at 5264 Jamaica Beach,
or directly through
Map Service Center.
The maps are used by the City for compliance purposes, and are
also used by insurance agents for insurance rating. The most
recent and currently effective maps for Jamaica Beach are dated
December 6, 2002. For homes that were built prior to that date,
it may be helpful for citizens to have access to all the maps to
know what flood zone was in effect at the time of construction.
Knowing this information can be critical if there is a dispute
with a mortgage lender or insurance agent. The FEMA Map Service
Center is a good resource for both current and historical maps.
|Building in the Floodplain|
in the Jamaica Beach floodplain requires a permit per the
Jamaica Beach Code of Ordinances. Development includes,
but is not limited to, all new construction, filling, grading,
and paving. Substantially damaged or improved structures, where
the cost of repair (regardless of the cause of damage) or
improvements to a structure equals or exceeds 50% of the
building’s market value, also require building permits and
elevation certificates, and are held to the same standards as
The following links provide useful and cost-effective ways of building in coastal areas:
|Property Protection and Assistance|
Rather than wait for a flood to
occur, you can act now to protect your property from flood
damage. Even if you’ve never flooded before, in the life of a
30-year mortgage, there is a 26% chance of experiencing a flood
if a property is located in the floodplain. Various
retrofitting techniques are available to help minimize flooding
such as elevating the building, constructing barriers out of
fill or concrete, and floodproofing to make the building
watertight. Because of Jamaica Beach’s susceptibility to
hurricanes and other tropical storms, measures that protect
against high winds such as storm shutters or reinforced garage
doors, should also be considered.
The Jamaica Beach Building Department provides homeowners with information on how to select a qualified contractor, and how to decide which retrofitting or flood protection technique is right for you and your structure. You can also download the following materials from the FEMA website:
|Flood Safety and Recovery|
It is important to know the difference between a flood WATCH and a flood WARNING. A flash flood watch is flooding that is possible in your area. A flash flood warning is flooding that is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. The best time to make sure you are ready for the next storm event is before one is headed your way. Have the following emergency supplies available in order to be prepared:
Basic homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from floods. Jamaica Beach participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, which means that federally subsidized flood insurance is available to everyone in the city. The purchase of flood insurance is highly recommended. Remember there is a 30-day waiting period before the policy becomes effective. Some people have purchased flood insurance because it was required by the bank or loan company when they obtained a mortgage or home improvement loan. Usually these policies just cover the building’s structure and not the contents. Policies are available to cover contents also. Remember that a flood insurance policy must be renewed every year. The following FEMA publications may also provide more information:
|For More Information...|
Click on any of the following links to learn more about floodplain management: