Sink or Swim: A Complete Overview of the Hillsborough County Flood Zone Map

November 9, 2019

Florida. The Sunshine State.

A mecca for those that want tropical living or a reprieve from harsh winters and snow. It’s a place of solitude for many. At least until Hurricane Season begins.

From the beginning of July to the end of November, Florida homeowners along the coast experience a bit more anxiety than usual. It’s storm season. We never know what the Gulf or the Atlantic will have in store for us, each year.

We begin to stock up on water. We check our battery and flashlight supplies. We think about storm scenarios based on any potential CAT storm that could blow our way.

The phrase by failing to prepare, we are preparing to fail could not be more true during these five months of ominous possibility.

However, Florida homeowners aren’t new to this season. We know how to prepare. We know how to plan. We know how to weather a storm.

But, do we have enough flood insurance to cover a potential loss? Do we have an iron-clad policy in the event that a Category 5 storm pays us a visit? Are we aware of the special flood hazard area that we may include our homes or our neighborhoods?

A great first step in being prepared is to take a look at the new Hillsborough County flood zone map. Knowing which zone your home is located in can help you determine the type of potential flood insurance you may need.

Here are a few storm situations to think about as we prepare for the next hurricane season.

Storms A Comin’

Hillsborough County has experienced a pretty decent history of avoiding major category-rated hurricanes. Our neighbor, Pinellas County, has dodged many of these storms, as well.

However, the reality is that a storm is coming our way. The atmosphere is warming, the water is staying hotter longer, and hurricanes are intensifying faster than we are prepared to handle.

A direct hit from a major hurricane is imminent. We all know that.

Let’s take a look at some of the potential catastrophes that could happen in our county.


Sure. We know about the wind speeds of strong hurricanes. Just recently, we weathered the skirt-tails of Hurricane Irma.

That was only a Category 1, though. And it wasn’t a direct hit.

Sustained wind was a little over 70 miles per hour, and the rain wasn’t horrendous. In fact, Irma didn’t have time to stay around and tour the state. She moved quickly and expeditiously.

She was our intro to the potential for bigger, stronger, scarier storms to visit our coastal towns.

Many in her path dealt with structural damage and water damage. Many dealt with extended power loss.

What happens if the big one pays us a visit? Will our homes be able to withstand sustained winds that rival those of an F3 or F4 tornado? Will we have enough insurance to cover any damage?


Recently, we’ve seen an upsurge in hurricanes that produce more rain than many cities can handle.

Some of these storms are getting lazy when they arrive on land. They sit for a while and just dump massive amounts of rain on our land and in our waterways.

Hillsborough County is famous for being a beautiful coastal city. Hillsborough County, though, is also famous for having lots of beautiful lakes and rivers.

If we witnessed a hurricane like those of Michael, Harvey, or Katrina – what would happen to our area?

Further, what happens if multiple hurricanes come our way? Will our homes be prepared for the onslaught of downpours and localized flooding? Do we know exactly where Tampa flood zones are and their location in proximity to our homes?

Any Florida homeowner that lived in the Sunshine State fifteen years ago probably remembers when we became known as the Plywood State. Four hurricanes pummeled through the state in a span of only six weeks. It was a wet mess.

The Hillsborough County flood map didn’t really seem to reflect all the areas of need during this storm-crazed summer. Wherever we went, water was sure to be found pooling somewhere. Many that were considered to be high and dry still dealt with flooding issues due to the mass amounts of rainfall.

Storm Surge

Here’s the scary phrase that none of us want to ever hear. Storm surge.

We have dealt with plenty of storm surges in the past, many not even related to the hurricane that would even hit our shores.

However, storm surges from a direct hit of a major category-rated hurricane can and will physically change our county’s landscape. Tampa was the recipient of a direct hit from the granddaddy of hurricanes in 1848. Making landfall at a would-be Category 4 level, storm surge waters rose and stayed in place for days.

A similar occurrence will happen. It’s not a matter of if, it’s simply a matter of when. Tampa flood zone maps can give the best indication of where we lay, currently, when it comes to potentially affected areas.

Hillsborough cities of Tampa, Town n’ Country, Gibsonton, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Adamsville, Gulf City, and Sun City are all places that are affected by the new FEMA proposed Hillsborough County flood map. These areas are direct coastal communities that will always be impacted by storm surges.

Know Thy Hillsborough County Flood Zone Map

We love Florida. That’s why we choose to live in this perpetually sunny state.

However, during our five months of hurricane season, we cannot forget to be prepared for what may happen. For those of us that live in low-lying coastal areas and communities, it’s imperative that we aware of our local flood insurance map.

Also, we need to make sure that we have the right type of flood insurance coverage in case of a hurricane hit, direct or indirect. We cannot secure a policy when a storm is at sea. We have to be prepared ahead of time.

Know where your home exists on the new Hillsborough County flood zone map. Don’t assume that you are still a Flood Zone B, when you may have changed to a Flood Zone A or AE.

Coverage doesn’t have to break the bank, nor be a scary addition to your current homeowner’s policy. Know there are insurance companies that are truly willing to put your best interests first, especially when we all live in the same flood-prone area.

Let us help you prepare for storm season with a strong insurance policy that won’t leave you washed up after a storm.

We can prepare together. We can weather the tides together.