FEMA Publishes NFIP “Substantial Damage” Fact Sheet
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued a fact sheet on “substantial damage” and what it means in relation to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). For those who participate in the NFIP, local floodplain-management ordinances require substantial damage determinations, which must be in place before members of a community can purchase flood insurance through the program.
Under the NFIP, a structure in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) is considered substantially damaged if the total cost of repairs is more than or equal to 50 percent of the structure’s market value before the disaster occurred, though local requirements may be higher.
Local officials determine whether buildings are substantially damaged, but FEMA damage assessment teams may be asked to evaluate the extent of damage to a structure.
In the event a building in a SFHA is substantially damaged, owners may elevate the structure or change it to comply with local floodplain rules, relocate or demolish the structure, or flood proof a non-residential or historical structure.