Facts on Flooding
The Sunshine State isn’t always sunny. When it rains in Florida, it pours. Due to the low-lying elevations of the Florida Keys, residents need to be aware of potential flooding that may occur. Heavy rains, tropical storms, and hurricanes have all affected Florida in recent years.
All of Monroe County is identified as a coastal floodplain and may be subject to flooding.
Prepare for Flooding
- Get a plan! To learn what to include in your plan, go to https://apps.floridadisaster.org/getaplan/ Opens a New Window.
- Know how to shut off the electricity and gas to your house prior to a flood.
- Make a list of emergency numbers and identify a safe place to go in case of a flood.
Insure Your Property
- Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from floods.
- Call your insurance agent to discuss your flood insurance coverage. Visit www.floodsmart.gov Opens a New Window. or call 888-379-9531 to find out more about who writes flood insurance policies in your area.
Consider Permanent Protective Measures
Protect Natural Floodplain Functions
Before buying a property, be sure to check with the floodplain official for the permitting history. Once you purchase a property, you may be required, at your own expense, to make alterations to a property that did not obtain the proper permits. Undisturbed natural areas act as natural retention of floodwaters, improving water quality, and providing refuge for endangered species. Please help keep these areas natural and beautiful by reporting any illegal dumping or clearing at www.monroecounty-fl.gov/dumping.
Know Before You Buy
- Elevate your home or place of business above flood levels
- Place your mechanical equipment above flood levels
- Install flood openings to equalize the pressure of floodwaters
- Remove furniture and valuables from lower enclosures
- Always check with the floodplain official before planning a construction project
- Hire only licensed and insured contractors
- Check with the floodplain official for the permitting history. Once you purchase a property, you may be required, at your own expense, to make alterations to a property that did not obtain the proper permits.
- Know your flood zone by visiting https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home
- Know your evacuation zone at www.monroecountyem.com/evacuation
- Sign up for Alert!Monroe
- Download the NOAA Extreme Weather Information Sheet at www.ncddc.noaa.gov/NEWIS
- Follow the National Weather Service Key West on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube
- Call the Monroe County Emergency Information Hotline in an emergency event at 800-955-5504
- Download the free Hurricane Red Cross app from the Apple Store or the Google Play Store
Watch Monroe County TV on Channel 76 for Comcast and on Channel 99 for AT&T U-Verse
Learn the Terms
Tropical Storm Watch: Sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph.
- Tropical storm conditions are possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.
Tropical Storm Warning: Sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph.
- Tropical storm conditions are expected within the specified coastal area within 36 hours
Hurricane Watch: Sustained winds of 74 mph or higher.
- The NHC issues hurricane watches 48 hours before it anticipates tropical-storm-force winds.
Hurricane Warning: Sustained winds of 74 mph or higher.
- NHC issues a hurricane warning 36 hours in advance of tropical-storm-force winds to give you time to complete your preparations.
Sponsored by University of Florida IFAS Extension.