The 2005 Hurricane season will remain infamous with the residents of Jackson County. Hurricane Katrina caused devastating damages to many of the residents of Jackson County. The Storm surges were unheard of prior to Katrina, and reshaped many of the properties along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Jackson County wants to ensure that structures that are built within the County are built strong, safe, and in a manner that much of the same devastation does not occur once again. The Building Department is available to help you accomplish these goals. Even if you do not live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), many areas in our community can become inundated during the heavy rain that cans occur in a coastal area.
If you plan on doing any type of construction or are interested in buying property within Jackson County, please call and ask about the flood zone information and what type of construction may occur. Any development in the flood plain must be permitted.
Jackson County Services:
The information below is designed to help residents prepare and recover from a flood. Please call the County's building department if you have any questions.
The NFIP makes federally backed flood insurance available for all buildings, whether they are in a floodplain or not. Flood insurance covers direct losses caused by surface flooding, including the Gulf of Mexico flowing over its banks, a lake or ocean storm and local drainage problems.
The NFIP insures buildings, including mobile homes, with two types of coverage:
In 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 which calls on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other agencies to make a number of changes to the way the NFIP is run. Some of these changes have already been put in place, and others will be implemented in the coming months. Key provisions of the legislation will require the NFIP to raise rates to reflect true flood risk, make the program more financially stable, and change how Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates impact policyholders. The changes will mean premium rate increases for some – but not all -- policyholders over time.
The mandatory purchase requirement applies to all forms of federal or federally related financial assistance for buildings located in a Special flood Hazard Area (SFHA). This requirement affects loans and grants for the purchase, construction, repair, or improvement of any publicly or privately owned building in the SFHA, including machinery, equipment, fixtures, and furnishings contained in such buildings. Financial assistance programs affected include loans and grants from agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, Farmers Home Administration, Federal Housing Administration, Small Business Administration, and Federal Emergency Management Agency. The requirement also applies to secured mortgage loans from financial institutions, such as commercial lenders, savings and loan association, savings banks, and credit unions that are regulated, supervised by Federal agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of Thrift Supervision. It also applies to all mortgage loans purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in the secondary mortgage market.
Before a person can receive a loan or other financial assistance from one of the affected agencies or lenders, there must be a check to see if the building is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The SFHA is base (100 – year) floodplain mapped on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). It is shown as one or more zones that begin with the letter “A “ or “V.”
It is the agency or lender’s responsibility to check the FIRM to determine if the building is in an SFHA, although Jackson County can provide assistance. Many lenders and insurance agents also have copies
If the building is in a SFHA, the agency or lender is required by law to require the recipient to purchase a flood insurance policy on the building. The requirement is for structural coverage equal to the amount of the loan (or other financial assistance) or the maximum amount available, whichever is less. The maximum amount available for a single-family house is $250.000.
The mandatory purchase requirement does not affect loans or financial assistance for items that are not covered by a flood insurance policy, such as vehicles, business expenses, landscaping, and vacant lots. It does not affect loans for buildings that are not in the SFHA, even though a portion of the lot may be flood prone. While not mandated by law, a lender may require a flood insurance policy as a condition of a loan for a property in any zone on a Flood Insurance Rate Map.
A repetitive loss property is one for which two or more claims of at least $1,000.00 have been paid by the NFIP for flood loss since 1978. Jackson County provides public information to assist residents with flood protection. The Code Enforcement Department offers the following services: