Flood Plain Management
The goal of floodplain management is to provide educational materials and building oversight in flood prone areas to ensure property owners take appropriate measures to help minimize the damage that flooding can cause during and after events.
In 1986, Brunswick County adopted a Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance along with the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) thereby entering into the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Participating in the NFIP affords property owners the ability to purchase federally subsidized flood insurance which provides substantial savings in annual premiums. This also allows homeowners and business owners eligibility for low interest federal grants and loans from agencies such as HUD and the SBA following a federally declared disaster. This is particularly important due to our vulnerability for natural disasters.
Community Rating System
Brunswick County is actively working toward acceptance into the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Community Rating System (CRS) program. The program is available to communities who have been found to effectively administer a locally adopted Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance and provide exceptional educational resources to the community. Upon completion of our most recent FEMA Community Assistance Visit, which is a CRS requirement, the County will begin the process of compiling the application data. The County will then be given a CRS classification rating which determines the percentage discount property owners will realize for flood insurance premiums with the National Flood Insurance Program policies.
Homeowner’s insurance policies typically do not cover damage from floods. However, because Brunswick County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you are eligible to purchase a separate insurance policy. This insurance policy is backed by the Federal government and is available to almost everyone, even if your property is not located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). For those located within a SFHA, premiums are based on a number of factors including the type of building, the number of floors, whether a building has a basement or enclosure, existing breakaway walls, flood vents, the elevation of the lowest floor, and type of flood hazard area. In most cases, an elevation certificate contains the information needed to assist an insurance agent with determining the true flood risk premium for a property. If you do not have an elevation certificate, speak to your insurance agent about your specific situation. In some cases, significantly lower cost Preferred Risk Policies are available for properties located outside high risk areas with no flood loss history and may not require a elevation certificate. Please remember that there is a 30-day waiting period before an NFIP insurance policy becomes effective.
Preliminary Flood Maps
In August 2014, the State of North Carolina released the new preliminary flood maps for Brunswick County. These updated maps more accurately reflect the flood risks than the effective maps as new data and new modeling technology were used to develop them.
These preliminary maps are available through the Brunswick County Geographic Information Services (GIS) and the North Carolina Flood Risk Information System (FRIS). While the preliminary maps cannot be used for regulatory or permitting purposes, it is recommended that property owners consider the map data during planning and building so as not to adversely affect future flood insurance premiums. Tentatively, the official adoption of these maps will not take effect until spring of 2018.