Five Reasons Surveyors Are Necessary for Flood Mapping

Five Reasons Surveyors Are Necessary for Flood Mapping

December 8, 2020

Flood mapping defines zones with flood risk. It numbers zones from one to five based on geography, presence of water bodies, weather and unique land features. Surveyors confirm boundaries between flood zones, so your property does not receive an excessive rating and make it challenging to secure flood insurance. With this much on the line, there is no doubt that surveyors are vital to accurate flood zone mapping in Guadalupe County, TX. Here are five reasons why this is essential:

  • Land use: Flood risk influences land use. A zone with low risk offers fewer construction and insurance requirements, which allow it multiple uses. If there is a high risk of flooding, any projects are subject to retrofits, insurance requirements and safety measures. Since flood mapping affects the locations of homes and businesses, accuracy is required. Land surveyors help produce accurate maps that are unlikely to be challenged and inform people of the risks associated with developing land.
  • Insurance: If you purchase a home or lot in a high-risk floodplain, you need additional insurance. Regular home or rental insurance does not cover floods. Accurate maps make it clear whether you need a National Flood Insurance Program policy. If a surveyor does not clarify boundaries, you may skip flood insurance thinking you are not in danger or buy it when it’s not required. Either way, you face extra costs that wouldn’t arise if your map was accurate.
  • Property values: There are studies of flooding effects on property values. Flooding and coastal storms drop values, which can be a good deal for a buyer, but affect your investment as a seller. Accurate boundaries ensure fair assessments, so you do not face unjustified reductions in property value. Also, since flooding risk is seasonal and worse in some years than others, accurate boundaries help with timing if you wish to sell.
  • Updating maps: Flood maps are not permanent. They change with weather patterns and water flow. These changes include areas with low flood risk—if a severe flood arises since a flood map was last created, it’s time for an update. Surveyors confirm the boundaries of flood damage and create new ones with this data. If you are near a boundary, you want this new zone to be accurate, so you do not face the requirements of living in a high-risk area. Likewise, if your property falls into a higher-risk zone after being in a low-risk one, you want to buy flood insurance before major disasters happen.
  • Challenges: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) makes a significant effort to ensure accurate flood maps. However, this does not mean there are never mistakes. If you feel mapping results are inaccurate, you can request additional scrutiny. Sometimes, that includes hiring a surveyor to confirm flood zone boundaries and why your property does not fall within them.

Bettersworth and Associates, Inc. provides land surveying services for commercial and residential clients. If you need to confirm your property’s location in flood mapping in Guadalupe County, TX, we can help. Call us today to schedule a consultation and receive answers to all your inquiries about flood zone mapping.

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