Flood and Storm Surge Zones
The coastal areas, the Miami River, and the many canals in the City of Miami make properties located near these areas prone to flooding. The Building Department, at 444 S.W. 2nd Avenue (416-1111), can assist you concerning information about Special Flood hazard areas.
The Building Department can inform you if your property is in a floodplain area. The department maintains elevation certificates for properties that have been substantially improved or constructed in the City of Miami since December 1992. We are also available to perform site visits to inform you if you are in a flood zone area, and provide information. The Plumbing Plans Examiner has the information available at 444 S.W. 2nd Avenue, 4th Floor, telephone number (305) 416-1111. For a twenty-five-dollar ($25.00) fee, the City can provide you with
the following information, in writing:
1. Community Number.
2. Panel Number and Suffix.
3. Date of the FIRM's index.
4. FIRM zone.
5. Base flood elevation.
6. Elevation data used on the FIRM.
Storm Surge Zones
Storm surge is the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane. It occurs when water from the ocean is pushed on shore by the force of tropical storms or hurricanes. This is the primary reason City of Miami residents are asked to evacuate prior to a hurricane. Upon identification of a threat, each zone (or portions of a zone) will be evacuated depending on the hurricane’s track and projected storm surge, independent of the hurricane's category.
To look up you Storm Surge Planning Zone, please visit Miami-Dade County’s webpage at:
Flood Preparedness & Safety
The City of Miami provides several services to help residents and business owners with information about flood hazards.
The National Weather Service, along with the City of Miami Fire Department, Emergency Management Section, providesflood warning information to city residents. The following local radio and television stations will provide information as part of the Emergency Broadcasting System:
AM Radio & Television Stations
WIOD -610 WFOR - Ch 4
WQBA-1140 WTVJ - Ch 6
WINZ- 940 WSVN - Ch 7
WAQI-710 WLTV - Ch 23
WSRF-1580 WLTV - Ch 23
Building Department-(305) 416-1100
DERM (Dept. Of Env. Resource Management) -(305)372-6789
So. Florida Water Management-(305) 377-7274
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency-(800) 621-3362
It takes only six (6) inches of moving water to knock a person down causing injury and possibly death. In order to protect your property and human lives, the following steps should be taken:
- Have an evacuation plan.
- Have two weeks’ worth of medication, food and water.
- The elderly disabled or persons with special needs should register with Miami-Dade County's Division of Emergency Management.
- Trees should be trimmed regularly, prior to a hurricane in preparation for possible flooding.
- Doors, windows or any building openings should be secured.
- Driving through flooded areas should be avoided; power lines may be down.
- Be alert to gas leaks.
- Candles and any other type of open flames should be carefully monitored.
Homeowner insurance does not cover flood damage; a flood insurance policy is required. The following steps should be taken in regard to flood insurance:
- Check your policy to make sure that your property and personal possessions are covered under the policy.
- Photograph and list your possessions for claim purposes; store the information with your policy in a safe place.
- 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.
- If the certificate shows that your house is lower, then the so-called "50% rule" would apply to your house. This rule means that if your house is in a flood zone and is damaged and/or improved to an amount greater than 50% of its market value, it will have to be raised to meet the current elevation requirement. City of Miami has been collecting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Elevation Certificate from home builders/developers since 1995 as a requirement of their building permit. Elevation certificates are also required for substantially damaged structures.For more information, call 305-416-1279 during office hours.
To obtain your Elevation Certificate
- If the home was built before 1995 and you have never substantially improved or experienced substantial damage to the structure, you may need to hire a surveyor, or you can ask the prior owner for the Flood Elevation Certificate. If the home was built after 1995, you may be able to find your elevation certificate by using our Microfilm & Records Section.
Microfilm & Records Section
Request Building Records (Microfilm)
City of Miami Building Department
444 Southwest 2nd Avenue, 4th Floor
Miami, Florida 33130
Phone: (305) 416-1140 Fax:(305) 416-2196
Public Research and Requests: 8:00 am - 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Scheduled Appointments: 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Pickup Completed Requests: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm