Flood Awareness

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, affecting every region and state. Flooding on Kiawah Island may be caused by a number of naturally occurring events including hurricanes, wave washes, tidal surges, tidal waves (tsunamis). Heavy rains over a short period can also overwhelm existing drainage capabilities.

Safeguards

Flood Proofing

  • Elevate buildings and homes above expected flood levels. Elevation is regulated for new construction, but existing homes can be raised.
  • Waterproof exterior walls.
  • Add watertight closures over doorways.
  • Move contents, electrical wiring, duct work, etc. to higher floors if they are susceptible to damage by flood waters.
  • Use water resistant materials in construction

Flood Insurance

Standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage from flooding. You should purchase flood insurance through an insurance agent that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This coverage is backed by the federal government and is available to every property owner even if your property has a history of prior flooding. There is a limit to the amount of coverage available through this program, but excess coverage may be purchased. Be sure that the flood insurance you purchase covers both the building(s) and contents. Contents are likely to be more subject to damage from flood waters than the building structure itself

If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, you can contact the NFIP Referral Call Center at (888) 379-9531 to request an agent referral.

 

National Flood Insurance Program Class Rating

The Town of Kiawah Island as a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program was recently (2017) awarded a classification rating of 5 through our continued efforts and involvement in the Community Rating System. This reduction from the previous classification of 7 could provide a savings of approximately 25% to flood insurance policy holders. Please contact your insurance provider for specific details.

 

 Town of Kiawah Island Sea-Level Rise Committee

The Sea Level Rise (SLR) Committee, a subcommittee of the Town of Kiawah Island’s Environmental Committee (EC), was formed in February 2017 as a result of EC concerns that the Kiawah community needed to address the growing risk of accelerated sea level rise. The Committee includes members from Town and KICA staff, Town Council, the Environmental Committee, the Kiawah Conservancy and Kiawah Island property owners. The Committee is studying sea level rise adaptation plans of neighboring communities with information from, and discussion with, the City of Charleston, Beaufort County, Folly Beach and Seabrook Island. It is consulting with current and former scientists from the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, the College of Charleston, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its Office of Coastal Management, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. In addition, the Committee is reviewing national, state and local articles and reports regarding SLR. The SLR Committee is considering various sea level scenarios and how these rising sea levels will impact our island’s infrastructure, environment, and way of life. It anticipates a final report by late spring or early summer, 2018 that will provide a comprehensive evaluation of specific mitigation and adaptation recommendations.

 


		

Resources

FEMA Flood map – Find your base flood elevation by entering your address into the flood map. Both current and proposed revised flood elevations are provided.

FEMA Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting

Facts

  • Flood insurance can be the difference between recovering and being financially devastated.
  • The damage from just one inch of water can cost more than $20,000.
  • If you allow your flood insurance policy to lapse for either more than 90 days, or twice for any number of days, you may be required to provide an Elevation Certificate (if you don’t have one), and you may no longer be eligible for policy rate discounts you might have been receiving prior to the policy lapse. It’s important to talk with your insurance agent before canceling or not renewing the policy.
  • You can file a flood claim even if there is not a Presidential Disaster Declaration.
  • Flood damage is not typically covered by homeowners insurance.