Who determines if your home suffered “substantial damage”

PENSACOLA, Fla.– After the floods, local officials inspect homes damaged by floodwaters to determine if the structure has been damaged to the point that it will need to meet current codes when repaired.

The determination of “substantial damage” applies to a seriously damaged home or other structure in a Special Flood Hazard Area, or flood zone, where the community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). English).

These determinations are made by the communities. FEMA does not make substantial damage determinations.

Rebuilding a substantially damaged structure in a flood valley requires that the property be modified in accordance with local flood valley management regulations. You can decide:

• Rebuild a non-residential, flood-resistant structure;
• Relocate the structure out of the flood valley;
• Elevate the building to a height determined by local officials; or,
• Demolish the house.

If you are a NFIP policy holder whose home was significantly damaged by the flooding of Hurricane Sally, you can ask your claim adjuster or insurance agent about Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage. English). This coverage is a resource for flood insurance policyholders who need additional financial assistance to meet the rebuilding requirements after a flood. Policyholders can receive up to $ 30,000 through ICC to help cover the cost of complying with ordinances and building codes.

For more information on general questions about flood insurance, contact your local flood valley manager, the NFIP at 800-427-4661, or your insurance agent. You can also send an email to FloodSmart@dhs.gov to request the information in a language other than English. Information is also available at FEMA.gov/es and FloodSmart.gov/es.

For more information on recovery from Hurricane Sally in Florida, visit the FEMA disaster website at https://www.fema.gov/es/disaster/4564 or the Florida Division of Emergency Management website at https://www.floridadisaster.org/info/Sally/.


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