FEMA has established boundaries on its preliminary flood maps to delineate the Limit of Moderate Wave Action (LiMWA). Buildings located at or beyond this line are classified within a "Coastal A" zone.
Buildings within these "Coastal A" zones are not anticipated to face the full impact of breaking waves associated with storm surges, unlike structures closer to the coastline, typically found in "VE" type flood zones. Nevertheless, waves of moderate height can still cause significant damage, often exceeding the damage caused by a simple increase in flood levels. Therefore, these areas necessitate additional flood protection measures.
Special construction standards apply to projects within these zones, which include the following:
Floodproofing Prohibition: Floodproofing is not allowed as a primary means of flood protection in these areas.
Enhanced V-Zone Construction Requirements: More resilient construction requirements, typical of V-zones, are applicable to ensure structural integrity in the face of moderate waves.
It's important to note that "Coastal A" zones do not have an adverse effect on flood insurance rates. However, within Key West, specific Coastal A Zone construction requirements are enforced as part of its participation in the Community Rating System (CRS). Key West benefits from a Class 5 CRS rating, which results in a 25% discount on most flood insurance policies for residents in the area. This incentive encourages proactive measures to enhance flood resilience and preparedness.