Federal Emergency Management Agency

For more information on FEMA, click here.

After a little checking with Bill Morkes, a Registered Land Surveyor, and his wife, Debra, they let me know FEMA has been in the process of changing their National Flood Insurance Program Maps (NFIP).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) made a change by revalidating their previously made determinations for properties and/or structures in the Harris County area. It became effective July 4, 2012, for Harris County residents. They notified the Harris County Chairman of Commissioners, as they act as the repository for this type of information.

For Lee County residents this went in to effect November 2, 2011. I don’t have a copy of the letter from FEMA which would have been sent to Lee County, but I am sure it would have had basically the same information as did the letter sent to their Harris County counterparts. That was why so many of you on the Alabama side received letters last year from your lender notifying you of the requirement for flood insurance, even though it had not previously been a necessity.

If you are just now receiving a letter stating you must purchase flood insurance, it could be your loan was recently sold or your lender has completed a review of their files after being notified of the FEMA changes.

Basically, what this means is, if your lake property has a mortgage tied to it, and even though the old FEMA maps indicated you were not in a flood zone, you may now be required to purchase flood insurance.

The exception to this new requirement is: if you had previously hired a Registered Land Surveyor (RLS) to survey your property and request a Letter of Map Change (LOMC), and if you received a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) from FEMA exempting your property from needing flood insurance; FEMA states they will honor the previously obtained LOMA.

These previously granted LOMCs were used to revise FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) maps they were using prior to July 4, 2012.

Thanks to Morkes Land Surveying, you can read a copy of the letter sent by FEMA to Harris County Chairman J. Harry Lange, dated June 21, 2012. It is included below along with a 16 page document listing Harris County property addresses which FEMA has on record as having previously requested and received a LOMA.

Susan Tompkins