Any community or individual property owner can appeal proposed changes to flood hazard information on the preliminary food hazard rate maps (FIRMs) and the preliminary Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report.

Per FEMA, an appeal must be based on data and documentation showing the proposed flood hazard information on the preliminary map or in the FIS report is scientifically or technically incorrect. Appellants need to demonstrate better methodologies, assumptions or data exists and provide alternative analyses than incorporate those methodologies, assumptions, or data if appropriate. The results must show an overall change in the flood hazard information (floodplain boundaries, base flood elevations, or zone designations) shown on the preliminary maps and/or in the FIS report. And all appeals must go through local government jurisdiction.

This is the work that Woods Hole Group has been performing for the City of Key West, Monroe County, Marathon and Islamorada. While all properties are within the scope of the local government appeals, there may not necessarily be a change in the BFE or zone designation.

Individual property owners may benefit from and pursue an individual appeal if they have 1) updated survey/topography, 2) changes in land use on their property, or 3) would like a site-specific evaluation for their property.

If your property is located in Unincorporated Monroe, please visit the Monroe County Floodplain Management website .

For technical assistance in formulating an appeal for a property located within the City of Key West, the engineering consultant can be contacted at femakeywest@whgrp.com. If you like, you may copy FIRM on your email at info@firmkeys.org. An initial review fee may be required (typically in the range of $400-$800). Upon completion of the review, if there is justification to file an individual property appeal, an additional fee would be required to develop the scientific data necessary to support an appeal (typically in the range of $2,500-$6,000).

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