What are some of the main construction tips for the different zones?
1. Zone X: (Low Risk) The Flood Damage Protection Ordinance (FDPO) does not have any mandatory requirements in the X zone, but owners should build up the structure at least one foot above finish grade and purchase flood insurance at a preferred rate.

2. Zone X Shaded or X-500: (Moderate Risk) This area is projected to have a foot of water standing if experience a storm intensity of a small hurricane. Flood insurance is strongly encouraged to be purchased at a preferred rate and the finish floor elevation to be constructed at least two feet above the highest adjacent finished grade.

Below Areas within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) - High Risk or 100 year Floodplain
Design Flood Elevation (DFE): is the elevation based on the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) plus required freeboard. Savannah has a one foot free board requirement.

3. Zone A, AE, AH & A0
• Finish floor or bottom of the lowest wooden floor joist to be at or above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) plus one foot freeboard. .
• Hydrostatic Vents are required if have a crawl space or garage below the DFE.
• Flood resistant materials shall be used below the DFE.
• Bottom of exterior A/C unit and bottom of all duct work, plus generators and natural gas must be above DFE.
• Elevation Certificates (EC): two submissions of an EC are required.
 + “Under Construction” EC is required to be submitted once the lowest finish floor has been set to verify the lowest floor elevation. No additional inspections can be completed until the EC has been submitted and reviewed by the Floodplain manager.
 + “Finish Construction” EC is required to record the lowest habitable finish floor, garages floor, a/c units, hydrostatic vents, and fuel tanks servicing the dwelling. Note the Finish Construction EC is required prior to releasing of power and Certificate of Occupancy.
• New construction and additions must provide a “No Adverse Impact” letter from a Georgia licensed engineer certifying the match of compensatory storage.

4. Zone VE (Velocity Zone)
• Materials requirement and Elevation Certificates: Same as above AE & AH.
• Cannot bring Fill onto the site.
• Cannot have reinforced parking slabs.
• Must have the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member at or above the DFE.
• Must have Georgia licensed engineer design and certify “as-built” of the foundation, freedom of obstruction, and breakaway walls.
• Submit and record with the deed a “Non Conversion” letter stating that the area below the main structure will not be converted into a habitable space.
• Hydrostatic vents are not permitted – enclosures require BREAKAWAY WALLS only.
• New construction and additions must provide a “No Adverse Impact” letter from a Georgia licensed engineer certifying the match of compensatory.
• Storage Flood insurance rates increase dramatically for enclosures larger than 300 square feet.

Show All Answers

1. What else can I do to prevent my house from flooding?
2. What is the difference between a Flood watch and Flood warning?
3. How do ponds prevent flooding?
4. What is the difference between a Retention Pond and a Detention Pond?
5. What is compensatory Storage?
6. Why can’t hydrostatic vents be used in the VE zone?
7. What are some of the main construction tips for the different zones?
8. How can I remove my property from the Floodplain?
9. What are benchmark, datum, and datum types?
10. I live in a low-risk flood zone. Do I really need flood insurance?
11. What is the Substantial Damage | Substantial Improved (SD/SI) aka “50% Rule” and Pre FIRM?
12. What is the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS)?
13. What are the different Flood Zones and Risks?
14. What is a Freeboard?
15. What is the difference between Base Flood Elevation (BFE) and Design Base Flood Elevation (DBFE)?
16. What is a 100 year or 500 year storm event?
17. What is the Community Rating System (CRS)?
18. What is Increase Cost of Compliance (ICC)?
19. What is the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)?
20. What is the difference between the “Floodplain” and the “Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)”?
21. What is the City of Savannah’s Community Number?
22. Do marshes and other vegetation prevent flooding?
23. What is the Preferred Risk Policy (PRP)?
24. Is flood damage from wind-driven rain covered?
25. Can “north-eastern” winds affect flooding?
26. If I live in a flood zone but my finish floor is above the BFE, do I still need flood insurance?
27. Can I get flood insurance if I do not live in a High Risk Area?
28. Can I get flood insurance if I'm renting a property?
29. What types of property may be insured against flood loss?
30. Does my policy go into effect once a payment is made?
31. What is Flood Insurance?
32. What causes flooding in Savannah?
34. What is the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) used for?
35. Where can I get More Information?
36. How do I know if I am at risk of flooding?
37. What kinds of property are not insurable under the NFIP?
38. What are FIRM Panels and how many are there?
39. What is the purpose of an Elevation Certificate?