SARASOTA COUNTY – Sarasota County will host a series of open houses for citizens to be informed on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) for Sarasota County, which go into effect March 27. 

All county property owners are invited to attend one of the public meetings to learn about their own flood risk, view the newly updated FIRMs and learn how individual properties may be impacted by the changes. 

These FIRMs will include a Limit of Moderate Wave Action (LiMWA) line. Post-storm field visits and laboratory tests throughout coastal flood hazard areas have consistently confirmed that wave heights as low as 1.5 feet can cause significant damage to structures that are constructed without considering coastal hazards. This LiMWA is the inland limit of the area expected to receive 1.5-foot or greater breaking waves during the 1-percent annual-chance flood event. 

FEMA’s previous FIRM maps only had two coastal flood zones. VE Zones where the flood elevation includes wave heights equal to or greater than 3-feet and AE Zones where the flood elevation includes wave heights less than 3-feet. 

Flood risks change due to construction and development growth, environmental impacts, floodplains widening or shifting and other factors over time. FEMA’s FIRMs are updated periodically to reflect these changes.

Citizens may view FIRMs online, which go into effect March, 27, at and visit the interactive map for more information.

Representatives from Sarasota County, and the cities of Venice, North Port, Sarasota and Longboat Key, will be available during open houses to answer questions. All residents are encouraged to attend one of these informational sessions. 

No formal presentations will be given; residents may attend the workshops whenever it is convenient for their schedule. Attendees do not need to make an appointment, but should remember to bring their elevation certificates, if possible. 

Public meetings with city and county representatives will be held at the following locations:

• 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 14, at the Fruitville Library, 100 Apex Road, Sarasota.

• 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Library, 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice.
An additional online presentation is planned for the following:

• 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 13, held virtually over Zoom (ID 832 9202 7798). 

FEMA’s new flood maps will become effective Wednesday, March 27, at

Please note that these changes do not affect hurricane evacuation levels, which may be viewed here or at

Standard homeowners’, business owners’ and renters’ insurance policies don’t cover flood damage, making flood insurance an important consideration for everyone. Visit or call 1-888-379-9531 for more information or to locate a local insurance agent. 
For additional information, please call 311 or visit