Florida property owners who rely on FEMA maps to identify whether their homes and businesses are at risk of flooding may be at a disadvantage. Outdated flood maps mark a number of places as low risk in Florida that have been hit hard in recent years by hurricanes. The maps have not been updated in a decade. For some areas, such as parts of Escambia County, it has been more than 15 years.

This was the case for many residents of Mexico Beach, where the Category 5 Hurricane Michael devastated 70% of the homes and businesses. However, 80% of the buildings were not insured because of being declared at low to moderate risk of flooding. FEMA says it is working to update its maps and that coastal Florida will get new maps within the next five years. Lack of funding has prevented updates, which are supposed to happen every five years. FEMA still has a debt of more than $20 billion and remains a low funding priority.

According to a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, sea level increases are also causing flooding. In some areas, flooding may occur even if there is not a strong storm or hurricane. The report also said that in 2019, the Southeast may see a 190% increase in the national high tide flood frequency.

Even people who do purchase flood insurance may sometimes run into difficulties trying to obtain compensation from insurance companies. Getting it in a timely way can be critical for families who are trying to rebuild their lives and homes after a severe flood. A person who is struggling to collect on a homeowner's insurance claim may want to consult an attorney to see what options might be available.

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