Important Flood and Hurricane Hazard Information

In Pinellas County, everyone is at risk for flooding, and you may be in a flood zone, a storm surge area, or an evacuation zone. A few inches of water is all it takes to cause major damage to your home and its contents. Below is important information, resources and tips to keep you safe during a flooding event. Questions regarding flood zones, maps or need more information? Contact Largo's Floodplain Administrator at 727-587-6749 Ext. 7301 or FloodPlains@largo.com.

Protect the Natural Floodplain

Benefits of Natural Floodplains
Everyone should protect these natural areas and keep them clean! To learn more, go to the Pinellas County Public Library catalog and search for "Protecting Floodplain Resources: A Guidebook for Communities."
Stormwater Management
  • Water from rain is managed through a system of pipes and drainage canals. Constant water flow through canals, especially during heavy storms, is essential to flood damage protection in the City.
  • Only Storm Water Down the Storm Drains! Oils, lawn clippings, cigarette butts and other debris should never be put down a storm drain.
  • Keep garbage and debris out of the street and away from storm drains.
  • It is unlawful to dump or throw anything into ditches, wetlands, ponds, or streams. Report dumping or debris accumulation in canals or ditches by email at Stormwater@largo.com. Remember, storm drains carry rainwater directly to the nearest body of water.

PLAN AHEAD FOR DISASTERS

Flood Safety
  • Obey evacuation orders from officials, which are issued for imminent storm surge flooding, not wind. Have an evacuation and shelter route planned before an evacuation order is issued.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Electrical current can travel through water.
  • Do not drive through flooded roadways. Roads may not be distinguishable from canals or ponds.
  • Do not walk through flowing waters.
  • Be prepared for Hurricane Season. Go to the Department of Homeland Security's website, Ready.gov for preparation information.
Know Your Flood Zone
Contact Largo's Floodplain Administrator at 727-587-6749 Ext. 7301 to find out:
  • If a building is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or not.
  • If the property is in an area that has drainage problems.
  • If the property is in an area that has had flood insurance claims filed repeatedly.
  • If the building is near an area that should be protected due to its natural floodplain functions.
  • If an Elevation Certificate is on file for your building.
  • To learn how to access the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for the City.
Property Protection
  • Elevate furniture and other household valuables and electrical appliances, or move them to higher floors.
  • Place sandbags in strategic places around your property.
  • Re-grading your property to provide for better storage of stormwater runoff, installing an earthen berm along the perimeter, and elevating the existing structure are good flood damage prevention practices.
  • City staff will visit a property to review its flood problems and offer advice to help prevent flood damage. Contact Largo's Floodplain Administrator at 727-587-6749 Ext. 7301 for this valuable advice.
Some flood protection methods require a construction permit so always call the Building Division before making any alterations to your property. Call Community Standards at 727-586-7488 if you see a project that does not have a permit sign, to report the possible violation.
Flood Insurance
  • Everyone in Florida should purchase a flood insurance policy to protect their building and/or its contents, whether it is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or not!
  • Most homeowners' or renters' insurance policies do not cover property losses due to flood waters.
  • Please note that there is usually a 30-day waiting period after purchase before coverage takes effect.
  • The City of Largo participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Community Rating System program, which provides a discount on all flood insurance premiums. Be sure to look for this discount on your policy invoice.
  • Call your insurance agent today to purchase flood insurance. If you don't have an agent, go to the FloodSmart.gov website, or call FEMA at 1-800-427-4661 for help.
Questions regarding flood zones, maps or need more information? Contact Largo's Floodplain Administrator at 727-587-6749 Ext. 7301 or FloodPlains@largo.com.  

For More Information

FLOOD WARNING SYSTEM WATCH
Watch the Weather Channel along with local news radio stations. Be sure to have extra batteries on hand for a weather radio. In emergencies, stay informed. Sign up for the free community notification service, ALERTPinellas. Call 727-464-3800 or register online at PinellasCounty.org/AlertPinellas.
Resources

Message From the Mayor

Why Should you consider flood insurance?
Flooding can happen anywhere, at any time. In fact, more than 20 percent of the National Flood Insurance Program's claims come from outside high-risk flood areas. That's why it's important to protect your property and possessions with flood insurance, even if you live in an area with low-to-moderate flooding risk. It's important to secure flood insurance; because everywhere it can rain, it can flood.

Only a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage to walls, floors, furniture, carpets, and appliances. This damage resulting from rising waters typically is not covered by homeowner 's or renter's insurance policies. Fortunately, flood insurance for both buildings and contents is available to property owners and renters.

The cost of a policy depends on your flood risk. The City of Largo works diligently to maintain a discount on flood insurance premiums for residents and businesses in all flood zones.The City is in the process of working to increase the reduction. Look for the discount on your flood insurance policy invoice.

I would like to encourage you to consider flood insurance for your property as you prepare for future contingencies. Tofind out more about flood insurance for your property and its contents, contact your insurance agent. Additional information is available at the FloodSmart.gov website.  You can also call the City at at 727-587-6749 Ext. 7301 for flood insurance advice. 

- Mayor Woody Brown

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