Know Your Flood Hazard
When in doubt, request for a Flood Insurance Rate Map “FIRM” Letter from the Village of Estero. The Letter will outline all FIRM details including flood zone, base flood elevation and other details required to obtain flood insurance.
At any time, you can access flood map information about any property in Lee County by going to http://leegis.leegov.com/floodzone, or by calling Mark Muraczewski, Floodplain Administrator, at the Village of Estero, (239) 310-3811, or by visiting the Village of Estero Community Development at 9401 Corkscrew Palms Circle, Suite 101, Estero, Florida 33928.
- FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (click on interactive map icon)
- FEMA Map Service Center
- FEMA NFIP
- FEMA Map Changes
- FEMA Substantial Improvements/Damage
- Warning, Safety and Evacuation
- Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM)
- Elevation Certificates for permitted construction projects prior to January 4, 2016 (Lee County). To find Elevation Certificates for permitted construction projects after January 1, 2016, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Flood Zones Defined
- Floodplain Management
- Map Revisions
- Flood Insurance Rate Map Letter – Requests should be sent to Mark Muraczewski, Senior Planner, Village of Estero Community Development Department, 239-221-5036, (email@example.com)
Program for Public Information
This information is provided as part of the overall Lee County Multijurisdictional Program for Public Information (PPI) to provide comprehensive flood hazard information to residents and non-residents.
The Village Council approved Resolution 2016-01 supporting this program on January 6, 2016. Approving this program allows points to be assigned to Estero’s Community Rating System and helps to reduce the cost of insurance for village residents.
The PPI Committee is comprised of public and private representatives from each of Lee County’s municipalities, as well as unincorporated Lee County. Its role is to establish an outreach program to broaden the public’s understanding of flood hazards, mapping, and insurance.
The Committee’s overall message focuses on the fact that floods are the most common natural disaster in the U.S. and only flood insurance covers flood damage. Everyone lives in a flood zone – it’s just a question of whether you live in a high, moderate or low risk area.
There are over 4,500 structures in Estero located in the special flood hazard area. However, the National Flood Insurance Program reports that nearly 20% of insurance claims are for properties in moderate to low risk areas. This is why it’s important for everyone to have flood insurance.
Insure Your Property
Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the U.S. and only flood insurance covers flood damage to your property and possessions. Most homeowners insurance covers water damage caused from a broken waterline inside your home, but not water damaged caused by flooding in your neighborhood.
Flooding can be caused from a tropical storm, hurricane, flash floods, or even heavy rains.
Everyone lives in a flood zone – it’s just a question of whether you live in a high, moderate or low risk area.
However, the National Flood Insurance Program “NFIP” reports that nearly 20% of insurance claims are for properties in moderate to low risk areas.
Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. From 2010 to 2014, the average residential flood claim amounted to more than $39,000.
Flood insurance is the best way to protect yourself from devastating financial loss. Most local property and casualty insurance agents write flood insurance policies.
Flood insurance is available to everyone – homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters. Costs vary depending on how much insurance is purchased, what it covers and the property’s flood risk.
Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase before your policy goes into effect. That means now is the best time to purchase flood insurance.
The Village of Estero is a participant in the NFIP to ensure compliant floodplain management measures to provide protection for the residents of the Village of Estero. By agreeing to enforce floodplain regulations, flood insurance becomes available to residents and property owners in the Village. For more information, please refer to Resolution 2016-01.
Protect Your Property
Importance of Maintaining the Drainage System
Large and small structures including, but not limited to, culverts, gates, weirs, pumps, levees, and street inlets are components of a drainage system.
It is very important to maintain a functional stormwater system. Homeowner associations, property managers and residents all play a role in managing flood situations by becoming familiar with drainage systems within their own area and taking action when needed. Drainage systems should be inspected, maintained and repaired before the rainy season. The following can help maintain a functional drainage system.
- Find out if your neighborhood system is inspected regularly and check to see if trash, dead vegetation and sediment are being removed.
- Become familiar with the permits that authorize drainage in your area and note any changes that may go beyond the specifics or intent of permit.
- Keep a record of the names, addresses and phone numbers of your homeowners association or property manager, the local drainage district, and the South Florida Water Management District to report any potential problems.
Any illegal dumping activities should be reported to the Village of Estero. Please contact the Village of Estero Code Enforcement at (239) 221-5036.
Additional resources for protecting your property from hazard are listed below:
Protect People from Flood Hazards
Entering floodwaters can be dangerous. Various elements from gasoline, oil, industrial/household compounds and sewage may be present within floodwaters and are harmful if inhaled or ingested.
If you see standing water in a roadway, you should turn around. Going through floodwaters can harm a car or cause death by drowning.
Affirm “Youth Preparedness” (https://www.ready.gov/youth-preparedness) for children in your family or schools. A study from Oregon State University showed that 14 percent of children and teens experienced a disaster during their lifetime, and four percent had been in a disaster within the past year. Contact the FEMA Youth Technical Assistance Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information can be found through Lee County Emergency Management.
All floodplain development within the Village of Estero requires a building/zoning permit.
The Village of Estero Building/Community Development Report is located at 9401 Corkscrew Palms Circle, Estero, Florida.
Floodplain management is performed in accordance with Ordinance No. 2015-16 and was adopted on November 18, 2015. The Florida Building Code is also applied to proposed development.
The National Flood Insurance Program requires that any structure located in the Special Flood Hazard Area “SFHA” that contains improvements or repairs equaling 50 percent of the value of the structure must be brought into full compliance with current Flood Insurance Rate Map Base Flood Elevations for that particular property.The Village of Estero encourages property owners and contractors to contact Mark Muraczewski, Floodplain Administrator, to discuss proposed improvement or repair projects which may trigger substantial improvements/substantial damages, known as the “50 Percent Rule”.
Additional information on Substantial Improvements/Damage can be found on FEMA’s website.
Protect Natural Flood Plain Functions
Surface water, groundwater, wetlands and other features do not function as separate and isolated component of a watershed, but rather as a single integrated system. Disruption to any component can have a long term and far reaching consequences on the function of natural floodplain components.
FEMA has issued a guide for communities “Protecting Floodplain Resources” Please click here to find out more.
Some useful tips on how to prevent devaluation of natural floodplain functions:
- Do not build on top or over natural flow ways, ditches or other surface water conveyances.
- Do not place waste and/or garbage into stormwater systems.
- Report non-functioning silt fence barriers for construction sites.
- Report debris or vegetation blocking swales, ditches, canals, or other surface water conveyances by calling the Village of Estero Community Development at 239-221-5036.
Prepare for Hurricanes
Hurricane Season lasts six months: June 1 – November 30. Every household should have a family emergency plan.
There are a number of things you may do to prepare before the season starts and, hopefully, you will not need to use them.
In case of an emergency, always call 911.
Everyone should have an emergency supply kit for your family and pets, with enough supplies to last at least 3 days without power. Here’s a guide.
- Click here for an emergency supply list:
Addition information can be found at the Village of Estero’s Hurricane Preparation website.