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Construction Techniques

Construction methods can be used to reduce flood damages. The most common method is elevation of the structure. Enclosed areas located below the RFE can only be used for parking access and storage. In VE flood zones, engineers must certify structures for compliance and breakaway walls must be used for enclosed areas. Only flood resistant materials can be used in enclosed areas. 

Freeboard Requirements

Dare County requires a 1-foot freeboard in addition to the National Flood Insurance Program base flood elevation. The lowest floor joist and all associated ductwork and equipment servicing the structure must be elevated to one foot above the designated base flood elevation (BFE). The elevation of structures is a construction method that has been used by generations of coastal residents to protect their residences and businesses and has proven to be successful in reducing flood losses. 

Flood vents is in enclosed areas below the RFE help equalize the hydrostatic pressure of rising flood waters. Flood vents should not be blocked or covered. The installation of flood vents is an inexpensive way to decrease your insurance. 

Elevation Certificates 

Elevation Certificates demonstrate compliance with federal and local floodplain regulations by documenting the elevation of the structure. An elevation certificate is also used by insurance agents to rate structures for flood insurance rates. 

Copies of many elevation certificates are kept on file by Dare County. Contact the Planning Department at 252.475.5873 to see if an elevation certificate is on file for your property.