Flood Zone Determination Reports
The "Flood Determination Companies" link below is a list compiled by FEMA of companies who provide flood zone determinations for mortgage and flood insurance purposes. Gila County also provides a modified standard flood hazard determination upon request, but there are significant differences which should be considered before submitting a Gila County determination to an insurance company.
Gila County's Pre-Construction Flood Hazard Determinations.
Gila County is not in the insurance business, and has no official input into flood insurance issues. Our only involvement is to set requirements for construction within floodplains to minimize flood damage, to protect residents and to meet the federal requirements so that Gila County residents are eligible to purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Whereas Gila County may provide a modified version of the Standard Flood Hazard Determination for building purposes, it may vary from information provided by Flood Determination Companies.
Please be aware of the following:
1. Gila County determinations are for the PARCEL, not existing structures. In other words, if a floodplain covers or touches a portion of the parcel, it is noted as in a floodplain, so that the appropriate staff may review building proposals. If the construction submittal shows only construction outside the floodplain a Floodplain Clearance is issued, otherwise a Floodplain Use Permit is issued with stipulations for building in a manner to reduce flood damage risks.
2. The base flood elevations (100-year water surface elevations, also known as "BFE") shown on the Gila County determination will be the highest BFE on the parcel. This gives some indication of what may be needed for planning building projects. BFEs are refined later when site plans are received during the permit application process and it is known exactly where construction is proposed on the parcel.
Flood Hazard Information for Insurance Purposes.
For insurance purposes, using this construction-planning information may result in higher premiums than necessary, since the building may actually be outside of the part of the parcel which is in the floodplain (only buildings are insured, not land), and the BFE may be lower at the actual building location than at the "worst-case" location shown on the determination. For large parcels or steep watercourses, there can be a significant difference from this worst-case BFE and the BFE at the location of an existing structure which you may wish to insure. Since flood insurance premiums are based on how high the lowest floor is above (or below) the BFE, using this planning-level information for insurance purposes may result in paying more than necessary for flood insurance. Please check to see whether this information reasonably reflects your situation before submitting it to an insurance company.