FEMA to host open houses on Flood Risk Map changes

All Sarasota County residents encouraged to view property on interactive map and to consider attending a session

This interactive flood risk map is available on the county website. Image courtesy Sarasota County

Starting in early March, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will host a series of open houses to help Sarasota County residents review preliminary FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).

All Sarasota County residents, including owners of homes and businesses, are invited to attend one of the upcoming sessions “with FEMA, county and municipality representatives to learn about their own flood risk, view the newly updated preliminary flood insurance rate maps and learn how individual properties will be impacted by the changes,” a county news release says. “Realtors, mortgage lenders, surveyors and insurance agents are among those in the community who are also encouraged to attend,” the release adds.

These flood risk changes will not have any impact on hurricane evacuation levels, which also may be verified by visiting scgov.net (keywords “hurricane preparedness”), the release points out.

The public meetings with city, county and FEMA representatives will be held onthe following dates at these times and locations:

  • March 4, 4 to 7 p.m. — Venice Community Center, located at 326 Nokomis Road in Venice.
  • March 5, 9 a.m. to noon — State College of Florida, in the Selby Room at the Venice campus, located at 8000 Tamiami Trail in Venice.
  • March 5, 4 to 7 p.m. — Suncoast Technical College (SCTI), in the Conference Center, located at 4748 Beneva Road in Sarasota.

During those sessions, the release continues, FEMA specialists will be able to answer questions related to flood insurance, engineering, appeals, and map changes. “All Sarasota County residents are encouraged to attend one of these informational sessions,” the release says.

Additional public meetings with Sarasota County staff are planned for the following times and locations:

  • March 12, 4 to 7 p.m. — South Venice Civic Association Center, located at 720 Alligator Drive in Venice.
  • March 19, 4 to 7 p.m. — Suncoast Technical College (SCTI), in the Conference Center, located at 4748 Beneva Road in Sarasota.

Property owners may view the interactive Flood Risk Map here to see if their parcels will be affected by the proposed changes.

No formal presentations will be offered during the above meetings; “residents may attend any workshop that is convenient,” the release stresses. “Attendees do not need to make an appointment but should remember to bring their elevation certificates, if possible,” the release adds.

Standard homeowner, business owner and renter insurance policies do not cover flood damage, “making flood insurance an important consideration for everyone,” the release emphasizes. Visit floodsmart.gov or call 1-888-379-9531 for more information or to locate a local insurance agent, the release notes.

For more information on the flood map updates or open houses, call the county Contact Center at 861-5000 or visit scgov.net (keywords “flood maps”).