The City of Rehoboth Beach participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As a participating community, the city has adopted floodplain management practices for development in 100-year floodplains (the area inundated by a storm that has a 1% chance of happening in any year). For property with any portion located within the 100-year floodplain, regardless of structure location, a flood insurance policy may be required by mortgage companies.
The City of Rehoboth Beach floodplain ordinance requires all new structures, and substantially improved structures, to be constructed a minimum of one foot above the base flood elevation (BFE) as noted on the city’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).
Community Rating System (CRS)
The City of Rehoboth Beach participates in the Community Rating System (CRS). The CRS is a subset of the NFIP. It is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities, which exceed the minimum NFIP requirements.
Flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community’s actions to meet the three goals of the CRS:
1. reduce flood losses
2. facilitate accurate insurance rating
3. promote awareness of flood insurance.
Community participation in the CRS is in addition to participation in the NFIP. The City of Rehoboth Beach currently has a CRS rating of 8 and is actively working to improve that score.
Public Information and Flood Information Assistance
Residents may obtain flood risk information including basic map information, copies of elevation certificates when available, and other flood-related information by visiting the building and licensing department or by contacting the City’s floodplain administrator, Matthew Janis, at 302-227-6181, ext. 208 or [email protected]
Want to know the flood zone of your property to determine your flood risk? Visit FEMA Flood Map Service. Paper copies of the city’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) may be viewed in the building and licensing department. If you need help interpreting a map, contact the floodplain administrator.
The following links provide useful information regarding flood insurance and flood-related topics:
FloodSmart.gov - official site of the NFIP
FEMA - National Flood Insurance Program
Ready.gov - disaster preparedness, including instructions on building a basic disaster supply kit
Statesatrisk.org - information about coastal flooding in Delaware
FLOOD PREPARDENESS AND MITIGATION
There are several things that you can do to ensure that you are ready should flooding occur:
1. Know how to shut off the electricity and gas to your house (or buildings/structures).
2. Make a list of emergency numbers and identify a safe place to go to if you must evacuate.
3. Store insurance policies, valuable papers, medicine, etc. in a safe, dry place.
4. Make an inventory list, including taking photos, of the contents of your home.
5. Develop a disaster response plan. The Red Cross website and ready.gov are excellent resources.
Consider undertaking the permanent flood-protection measures listed below. Additional measures may be found here.
1. Mark your fuse or breaker box to map the circuits to floodable areas.
2. Turning off the power to the basement can reduce property damage and save lives.
3. Consider floodproofing your structure or elevating it above flood levels.
4. Check your building for water entry points. These can be basement windows, basement stairwell, doors, or dryer vents. These entry points can be protected with low walls or temporary shields.
5. Install a sewer backflow device to prevent backflow drainage from entering your drains. Note that some flood-protection measures may require a building permit; others may not be safe for your type of building. Be sure to talk to the building and licensing department at 302-227-6181, ext. 222 before proceeding.
Here are some important facts to keep in mind:
• FACT: Homeowners and renter’s insurance do not typically cover flood damage.
• FACT: More than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside high-risk flood zones.
• FACT: Flood insurance can pay regardless of whether or not there is a presidential disaster declaration.
• FACT: Disaster assistance comes in two forms: a U.S. Small Business Administration loan, which must be paid back with interest, or a FEMA disaster grant, which is about $5,000 on average per household. By comparison, the average flood insurance claim payment is significantly higher and does not have to be repaid.
• FACT: Just one inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage to your home
If you have determined that your house lies in a flood zone, a Flood Elevation Certificate can then tell you how high your house was built in relation to that flood zone.
These certificates are required for all new construction and substantial improvements to a structure. An elevation certificate is an important document that every homeowner should have, and in case of a disaster, would demonstrate to city authorities that your house is at or above the required elevation.
The building & licensing department maintains elevation certificates for properties that have been substantially improved or constructed in the City of Rehoboth Beach since August 2003.
Dolle’s and the Boardwalk following the spring storm of 1962