The City of Key West, Florida

The Southernmost City in the Continental United States

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Floodplain Management (FEMA)

This site is only applicable to those buildings within the corporate limits of the City of Key West, Florida.

Several areas outside the city limits receive their mail from the Key West Post Office.  They may have a "Key West" mailing address but aren't actually located in the City (such as Stock Island (south side), Rockland Key, Raccoon Key, Key West Airport, Naval Air Station etc.).

Those areas are within Unincorporated Monroe County.

Click here to view Monroe County's floodplain management web page.

Hurricane Irma Evacuation Letter

Need a letter for FEMA confirming there was a mandatory evacuation ordered for City of Key West residents

Click Here

During 1971, the City of Key West joined the National Flood Insurance Program, which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  The NFIP establishes flood zones and minimum flood levels to set flood insurance premiums.  It also establishes construction standards for buildings in the Special Flood Hazard Area (type "A" & "V" zones), commonly called the FEMA floodplain.  The NFIP generally requires a flood insurance policy for any property in the SFHA that is covered by a mortgage, because most financial institutions are backed by federal insurance.

Anyone can use this Web site to:

Contact the City's Floodplain Administrator  e-mail graphic

Check sidebar to left under "Topics of Interest" for specific flood information.

Flood Hazard Information

ARE YOU IN A FLOOD HAZARD AREA? The City's Building Department, located in City Hall at 1300 White street, has FEMA flood maps that indicate whether you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area. There is also information on flooding problems in specific, localized areas. If you are considering buying or renting property and are not sure if it floods, information on past flooding is available. Flood maps and information on flood protection can also be found online.

Both the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Monroe County GIS Services have created interactive mapping services to locate specific property in relation to the high-risk flood hazard areas (also called "Special Flood Hazard Areas"). FEMA has a consumer friendly site specifically for locating flood risks and insurance information that is available by going to www.floodsmart.gov. The County's viewer is also available by going to Monroe County flood maps.
 
If you're not in the habit of researching flood maps, check out our page on How to Read Flood Maps.
 
For a crash course on flood insurance/regulation terminology, here's a four-minute video that'll bring you up-to-speed.
 
IF YOU HAVE A FLOODING EMERGENCY or drainage problem, you can call the City's Utilities office at 305-809-3902 (after business hours 305-809-1111) for help. If maintenance of the City's system is required, they can handle it or, if there is no system at that specific location, they can refer it for further investigation. They can also explain ways to stop flooding and prevent damage on your property.
 
YOU CAN HELP PREVENT FLOODING. The City's efforts to be successful in flood control depend on your cooperation.
  • Do not place any debris - lawn trash or otherwise - in stormwater inlets, ditches or other waterways. Dumping into the drainage system can easily create blockages and when it rains the water has nowhere to go, resulting in flooding - the house you flood may be your own. It is a violation to dump into any public drainage system. If you witness a problem regarding dumping into the stormwater system, please contact Code Enforcement at 305-809-3739 (after business hours 305-809-1111).
  • Always check with the Building Department (305-809-3956) before you make changes such as grading, filling, or construction on your property. The changes you have planned may require permitting to ensure that your project does not cause problems for your neighbors.
  • If you see someone dumping anything into stormwater inlets, ditches or other waterways, report it to Code Enforcement at 305-809-3739 (after business hours 305-809-1111).
  • If you see an active construction site and there is no City permit posted, report it to the Building Department (305-809-3956) or online.

PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY - You can take an active role in protecting your property from flood damage. The method you choose depends on your particular situation and may include more than one of the following:
  • You can divert water from your property by regarding or by constructing an earthen berm. (This may require a permit - check with the Building Department at 305-809-3956.)
  • There are many methods for protecting a structure from flooding, such as sandbagging. Prior to an expected storm, listen to local radio stations to learn sandbagging locations.
  • The construction of swales (a shallow ditch) and retention areas (small shallow depressions) are other effective methods of preventing flooding. You will need to consult with the City's Building Department regarding permitting and design information for these methods.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a trove of publications which detail many ways of floodproofing or repairing your home or business. Its entire library is available online at www.fema.gov.
  • If roof damage from your home is creating a problem under the home, gutters can help direct the runoff away. Another way of protecting a building from flooding is by raising the building. This can be expensive but may be cost effective.


 
SAFETY FIRST - If you suspect the onset of flooding, the first thing to do is turn off the electricity and / or gas. If possible, move valuable contents upstairs or to an elevated area. Since you will probably not have much time to act, it is a good idea to have a flooding checklist ready just to make sure you don't forget anything valuable or important.
 
STAY AWAY FROM FLOOD WATERS. Yes, the number one cause of death during floods is drowning. High water often conceals storm drain inlets and washed-out roadways. The currents in these areas can be very strong and it doesn't take much moving water to make walking impossible.
 
DRIVING THROUGH A FLOODED AREA IS DANGEROUS & EXPENSIVE. Remember the following: More people drown in their cars than anywhere else! Do not drive through flooded intersections. DRIVE AROUND.
 
Street flooding makes ditches and road washouts hard to see. Another important reason for avoiding flooded intersections is the potential damage to your car. Many newer cars draw air - thus water - from as low as ten inches. This water can ruin your engine quickly. Salt water from ocean storm surges - common in Key West - will likely ruin most cars driven through it.
  • DO NOT APPROACH ELECTRICAL LINES. The number two cause of death in floods is electrocution. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Report emergency service outages to Keys Energy (305-295-1010).
  • TURN OFF YOUR ELECTRICITY. Never use electrical equipment or appliances that are wet. Some electrical devices store electricity even after they are unplugged and are potentially dangerous.
  • CHECK FOR GAS LEAKS. Use a flashlight to check for damage to gas appliances and supply lines. In case of a flood you should turn off your gas.
  • WATCH YOUR STEP. Pay attention to where you are walking. Flooding leaves trash including broken glass, nails, and mud.
  • BE ALERT FOR ANIMALS. Beware of snakes and insects. Flooding displaces small animals, so they may look for higher ground in and around your house.

 FEMA.Gov

FloodSmart.Gov

RedCross.org

Contact Us

Scott Fraser,
FEMA Coordinator/Floodplain Administrator

Mailing Address

PO Box 1409
Key West, FL 33041

Physical Address

City Hall
1300 White St
Key West, FL 33040
Get Directions
  • Business: (305) 809-3810
  • Staff Directory
  • M-F, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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