Property owner and tenant insurance policies don’t normally cover flood damage. These policies only cover the building’s structure, not its contents. As a result, the City of Fort Lauderdale encourages residents who rent or own property in an SFHA to acquire flood insurance to protect their homes and possessions against losses from flood damage. Tenants can obtain insurance to cover their personal contents in the homes rented, even if the owner does not insure the structure.
By law, flood insurance is required to obtain financing for most federally secured mortgages, loans, or federal grants to purchase, build, or remodel a structure located in an SFHA. Contact a licensed property insurance agent for more information about flood insurance. Information is also available at www.fema.gov or www.fortlauderdale.gov.
Don’t wait to purchase flood insurance. There’s a 30-day waiting period before National Flood Insurance Program coverage takes effect.
Read about the changes coming to the National Flood Insurance Program PDF File as a result of the Biggert-Waters Act. A concise fact sheet PDF File is also accessible.
Flood insurance will help recoup losses from flood damage, but additional precautionary measures can be taken to minimize those losses and protect yourself, your family and your property.
Before a Flood
Verify that you are covered, and request information about the NFIP and flood insurance from your insurance agent. Set up a family disaster plan and a disaster supply kit. Learn the City’s flood warning procedures and local evacuation routes. Learn how to turn off your utilities. Contact your local utility service now if you are not certain how to do so. Bring in outdoor possessions and move valuable possessions to higher ground. For emergency waterproofing needs, keep materials such as sandbags, plastic or burlap bags, plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber and shovels handy.
During a Flood
Use a battery-operated NOAA weather radio to monitor emergency information. Fill containers with clean water in case drinking water is contaminated. If instructed by local officials, turn off all utilities at the main power switch, close the main gas valve and shut off propane tanks. If instructed to evacuate by authorities, do so immediately. Follow evacuation routes. Don’t walk or swim in floodwaters. If you must walk in standing water, use a pole or stick to check water depths. Don’t drive through a flooded area; turnaround and look for another way. Never drive around roadblocks. Avoid downed power lines and electrical wires. Electrical current can travel through water.
After a Flood
Report downed power lines to FPL at (800) 468-8243; or call the City of Fort Lauderdale’s 24-Hour Customer Service Center at (954) 828-8001
If an evacuation order was issued, don’t return home until authorities announce it is safe to do so. Be cautious when entering buildings. If your property has been flooded, inspect it for damages. Check for gas leaks. Don’t smoke or use candles unless you know the gas has been turned off. Avoid using wet appliances. They can keep a charge even after unplugged. Take pictures of the damage to your home and belongings for insurance claims.
Safeguards you can take to protect your property from damage and reduce financial losses include:
Regarding your lot (permit may be required), Repairing property drainage issues, Building barriers, such as a retaining wall to stop floodwater from entering the building, Moving electrical panel boxes, furnaces, water heaters, washers and dryers to elevated locations, Installing check valves to prevent floodwater from backing up in drains, Installing storm shutters, impact windows, and reinforced garage door.
The City responds to flooding insurance inquiries. If you have a question about flood, sewer or drainage problems, contact the City of Fort Lauderdale’s 24-Hour Customer Service Center at (954) 828-8001.
Drainage System Maintenance
The City of Fort Lauderdale has a system of natural and man-made drainage features that manage local water flow and storm water runoff. These features include rivers, canals, storm drains, catch basins, pump stations and yard swales.
These local canals and rivers help prevent flooding, as well as recharge the well fields that supply the City’s drinking water.
The City’s storm drain system carries water from rain, hoses and sprinklers to our waterways. This water picks up pollutants such as debris, cigarette butts, motor oil, yard and pet waste, and pesticides that contribute to storm water pollution. Storm water is untreated water, which means whatever flows into a storm drain exits to the waterways.