Lee County adds resource about flood zones to online toolkit
Lee County Government has added to its online toolkit to prepare residents for heavy rains and hurricane season — and the new resource is one to keep in mind year-round. The latest instructional video, located at www.leegov.com/hurricane, is about the importance of protecting yourself and your property from flood damage.
“While your home’s location may dictate your risk of flooding, no location is immune from flooding in Southwest Florida,” Lee County Public Safety Director-Emergency Management Lee Mayfield said. “The quickest way to recover from a storm is to have the appropriate insurance in place beforehand.”
Lee County urges residents and business owners to understand that flood zones and evacuation zones are not the same. Evacuation zones are used in emergencies; when a storm is approaching, it is critical to watch for Emergency Management updates and know your evacuation zone. Flood zones are routinely used for flood-insurance ratings and some building requirements.
In the new video, county floodplain manager Billie Jacoby explains how residents can better understand their flood zone and flood risk, which is based on factors such as location, elevation, age and construction type, and proximity to waterways.
Most homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage. One inch of water in your home could result in more than $25,000 worth of damage. Once you know the flood zone you are in, you can work with your insurance provider to buy flood insurance, including purchasing a separate policy for coverage of contents.
These and other tips are included in the three-minute video. Other videos — released earlier this summer — include a hurricane season overview, making a plan, preparing your pets, generator safety, emergency shelters, what to do before a storm, and what to do after the storm has passed.
Videos include a “Hurricane Ready” quiz to test viewers’ knowledge.
Lee County produced the videos to assist community members who typically attend in-person Hurricane Seminars offered throughout cities and unincorporated Lee County. Those seminars were not possible this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The county’s annual All Hazards Guide also contains the same useful information as the videos — including ways to learn your flood zone, flood hazard and your evacuation zone — in a concise printed form. The guide also includes information on reporting blocked ditches and canals, getting a permit before you build, choosing your flood warning system and contacting your community floodplain manager about flood protection assistance. View the guide at www.leegov.com/publicsafety/emergencymanagement/plan/ahg.
Printed editions of the guide are available at the following Lee County Library branches: Bonita Springs Public Library, Cape Coral Lee County Library, East County Regional Library, Fort Myers Regional Library, Lakes Regional Library, North Fort Myers Public Library, Northwest Regional Library and South County Regional Library.
Contact-less curbside pick-up of 25 guides or more is also available at the Lee County Emergency Operations Center, at 2675 Ortiz Ave., Fort Myers. Contact 239-533-0622 or EMInfo@leegov.com in advance to schedule a pick-up.