Flood Information

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General Information

View your current FIRM Map FEMA Flood Zones (arcgis.com). The Town of Indian River Shores is located entirely on the barrier island and has a great potential for flooding. Much of the coastal area along the Atlantic Ocean is subject to wave action and is located in the NFIP VE flood zone. The remainder of the land in Indian River Shores is in the AE zone. Flood zones and evacuation zones are different. Flood zones are used to assess a property’s flood risk caused by heavy rains, tropical storms, and hurricanes. Evacuation zones are based on the property’s vulnerability to storm surge from a hurricane.

Community Rating System (CRS)

The Town of Indian River Shores has actively participated in the National Flood Insurance Program for many years. As a participating community in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Flood Insurance | FEMA.gov, all property owners have an opportunity to financially protect themselves. The Town of Indian River Shores participates in the NFIP.

Under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the Town of Indian River Shores also participates in a voluntary program called the Community Rating System (CRS). Joining the CRS program enables communities to earn premium reductions for their residents for floodplain management activities that a community implements. In CRS Communities, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community’s efforts that address the three goals of the program:

  • - Reduce and avoid flood damage to insurable property
  • - Strengthen and support the insurance aspect of the NFIP
  • - Foster comprehensive floodplain management

As of 2023 the Town of Indian River Shores has a CRS program rating of a Class 6, which provides the Town of Indian Rivers Shores residents a 20% flood insurance premium reduction.

Building in the Floodplain

Did you know that almost all permitted development within the Town of Indian River Shores requires a floodplain review?

It is important to build responsibly and safely.  Any new structure or improvement to a structure, whether it is an addition, alteration, re-roof, etc. must have a building permit prior to the start of construction.

All applications to build in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) will not only include building department review but also a floodplain review performed by the Floodplain Coordinator, Floodplain Administrator or designee. This review is to ensure compliance with FEMA regulations, the Town of Indian River Shores Flood Ordinance the Town’s Land Development Code and Florida Building Code requirements. 

During this process, if an improvement to the structure is deemed to be substantial, it is then required that the applicant demonstrate the structure meets the current Florida Building Code requirements, Town codes, and FEMA standards and regulations. These regulations are in place to protect both people and buildings.

It is required that the lowest finished floor of any new or substantially improved structure located within a Special Flood Hazard Area be a minimum of 2-feet above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE), which is found on the Flood Insurance Rate Map.

This also applies to attached garages, enclosures, crawlspaces, and any machinery servicing the building. Parking, storage, and building access areas that are not habitable spaces may be located below the BFE, only if flood openings are present or the structure is floodproofed (non-residential only). 

While structures located within a V-Zone are also required to be built a minimum of 2-foot above the BFE, they must also be protected from the impact of waves, hurricane force winds, and erosion.

A V Zone Certificate must be prepared by a professional engineer or architect that certifies that the design and planned methods of construction meet NFIP requirements. This certificate is required prior to permit issuance.

Floodproofing is acceptable for non-residential buildings in Special Flood Hazard Areas; however, there are certain requirements to be compliant with regulations that also include a Floodproofing Certificate. For more information, contact the Floodplain Administrator.

All new or substantially improved structures will require a finished construction Elevation Certificate which must demonstrate compliance.  This will be required prior to receiving a Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Completion.

Always get a permit before you build and work with a State of Florida licensed contractor.

Substantial Improvement/Substantial Damage / 50% Rule

The Town of Indian River Shores participates in the Community Rating System (CRS) established by FEMA through the National Flood Insurance Program. This requires the Town to determine if improvements over the past year are substantial, meaning the cumulative value of the improvements meets or exceeds 50% of the value of the structure being improved.

This requirement applies only to structures that are within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and are not compliant with current Flood Protection regulations. It does not matter whether the structure is residential or commercial, insured or uninsured, nor first-floor or top-floor condominium.

If a structure located in a SFHA is not built to the current design flood elevation and is "substantially damaged" or "substantially improved," it must be brought into compliance with the Town of Indian River Shores’ Floodplain Management Ordinance and Florida Building Code, including elevating the building and all electrical and mechanical equipment to a minimum of 2-feet above the base flood elevation.

This typically applies to the addition to or remodeling of older structures, but it also affects structures that have sustained major damage.

Elevation Certificates

All new construction and substantial improvements to a structure built in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) are required to have a finished construction Elevation Certificate.

The certificate is used to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and is required to obtain flood insurance, which is mandatory for all structures in the SFHA.

Please note any new or substantially improved structure located within a Special Flood Hazard Area requires the lowest finished floor to be a minimum of 2-feet above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). This also applies to attached garages, enclosures, crawlspaces, and any machinery servicing the building.

The Town of Indian River Shores Building Department may also require any other floodplain-related documents and construction certificates that are appropriate for the structure, e.g., a Floodproofing Certificate, V-Zone Certificate, and/or Certification of Engineered Flood Openings, etc. The construction certificates must be prepared by a Florida licensed surveyor, professional engineer, or certified architect. The original should then be submitted to the Town of Indian River Shores’ Building Department where it will be reviewed, scanned, and recorded.

Flood Information Services

The Town of Indian River Shores CRS Coordinator is Denise Boehning, ANFI, CFM with CoastalWide LLC. This firm has been contracted to assist the Town with FEMA's NFIP Community Rating System (CRS) program. As part of that agreement, residents will be provided with answers to questions or concerns related to flood insurance, flood zones, flood risk, and general flood information at no cost to the resident. Please contact Mrs. Boehning for this free service.

Flood Elevation Certificates are available upon request.

Liz Scheidel Email: lizs@irshores.com or crsirshores@coastalwide.com
Phone: 772-231-4453

More Information

Natural disasters and emergency situations call for top-down preparedness. Indian River County and its municipalities operate under the same Unified Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) plan. The Indian River County Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) was reviewed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management and found to be compliant with the federal hazard mitigation planning standards, and adopted by the Board of County Commissioners on March 3, 2020. The Town Council of Indian River Shores adopted the 2020 Revised Indian River County LMS by Resolution 20-02. The 400+ page document is available for review at this link.

The following third-party websites and services are available to you for your education:

Community Rating System | FEMA.gov Encourages communities to establish a floodplain management program that recognizes and encourages floodplain management activities.
Flood Insurance | FEMA.gov: Understand flood insurance. Find out if you should or are required to get flood insurance.

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