Flood Safety Information
Hurricane Katrina caused devastating damage to many of the residents of Gautier. The storm surges were unheard of prior to Katrina, and they reshaped many of the properties along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The City of Gautier wants to ensure that structures built within the City are built strong, safe, and in a manner so that devastation does not occur once again. The Planning/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 can occur in a coastal area. If you plan on any type of construction or are interested in buying property within the City of Gautier, 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.
- Uses FIRM to determine if a property is within a SFHA.
- Collects additional flood insurance data for a site, such as the FIRM zone and the base flood elevation.
- Maintains repair information of structures located within the SFHA.
(A structure cannot receive more than 50% of repairs/improvements within 10 year period if not compliant with the current FEMA FIRM map)
- Maintain files of Current Elevation Certificates
- Provide online FIRM (or FEMA flood maps) on the Jackson County WebMapping Page.
- Provide information on how to protect your property from floods
- Maintains Flood Damage Prevent Ordinance
The information below is designed to help residents prepare and recover from a flood. Please call the City of Gautier's Planning and Building Department if you have any questions.
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
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:
- Structural coverage is for the walls, floors, insulation, furnace and other items permanently attached to the structure.
- Contents coverage may be purchased separately provided the contents are in an insurable building.For more detailed information please consult the NFIP manual:
Mandatory Purchase Requirement (MPR)
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.
How MPR Works
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 the City of Gautier 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 $2500.
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.
Repetitive Loss Properties
A repetitive loss property is one for which two or more claims of at least $1,000 have been paid by the NFIP for flood loss since 1978. The City of Gautier provides public information to assist residents with flood protection.
The Planning and Building Department offers the following services:
- Information determining if a property is flood prone, including flood elevation or depths
- Data on the history of flooding where available
- Site visits to advise property owners on appropriate flood protection measures.
- The reviewing and critique of retrofitting plans for flood prone buildings.
- As an owner of a repetitive loss property you will also receive information and brochures as they are made available to us to further assist you on flood proofing your property.