MVC sponsors informational meeting on flood zone map changes

MVC sponsors informational meeting on flood zone map changes

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This map shows the projected flood zones in Katama. — Photo courtesy of FEMA

The Martha’s Vineyard Commission will host an informational flood insurance open house from 5 to 8 pm, Tuesday, July 16, at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School cafeteria.

The meeting will allow residents to view the new Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) flood insurance rate maps, scheduled to become effective in 2014, and to understand how their properties may be affected by changes in the new maps and to learn about financial steps that they may need to take to protect their investment, according to the MVC. Staff from FEMA and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation will provide a short presentation and will be available to answer questions.

The maps indicate whether properties are in areas of high, moderate or low flood risk. Property owners may find that their risk has either increased or decreased. If the risk level for a property changes, so may the requirement to carry flood insurance.

Those who have a federally backed mortgage, or plan to refinance with a federally backed lender, will be required to purchase flood insurance if they find that their home is shown in a high-risk flood area, known as a special flood hazard area on the updated maps. Purchasing flood insurance before the flood maps become effective will lock in the lower-risk zone and could lead to significant savings.

Residents are urged to contact their insurance agent or visit www.floodsmart.gov to learn more about how and where to get a policy.

The maps can be viewed online at www.fema.gov.

For more information contact Jo-Ann Taylor, MVC, 508-693-3453 ext. 19, taylor@mvcommission.org