As of this month, the Georgetown County Planning and Building Department has made it easier for residents to access floodplain information specific to their individual property. The county is using a floodplain management platform called Forerunner to help connect residents with important information about their properties and new flood insurance rate maps that went into effect this spring.
“This will help to significantly streamline the county’s flood risk management efforts and provide potentially life- and property-saving information and resources for our residents,” said Steven Elliott, Building Official for Georgetown County.
Residents can access Forerunner at https://georgetowncountysc.withforerunner.com/. The platform delivers actionable, property-level flood risk information. Residents and businesses can view new Flood Insurance Rate Maps and compare them with the old ones, see any floodplain warnings for their property and even view elevation certificates where available. County staff will be working to add more elevation certificates to the platform on a regular basis.
All this will make it easier for homeowners, businesses, contractors, insurance agents, realtors and others to learn about the building and insurance compliance requirements associated with each individual property. It will also give residents real-time access to flooding data during a storm, as well as resources to quickly and easily submit damage claims.
In addition to clear benefits for residents, Elliott said this new public resource will also help the county to streamline floodplain management, compliance and outreach. That, he said, has the added benefit of helping improve the county’s Community Rating System score, which has a direct impact on flood insurance rates.
“We built Forerunner on the belief that preparation is a necessity, not a luxury, and that communities deserve access to powerful tools that help them plan for the future,” said Susanna Pho, Co-Founder and CEO of Forerunner. “It’s so gratifying to see a community like Georgetown County embracing our technology and taking tangible steps to reduce flood risk for their residents - which will ultimately lead to lives saved and fewer homes and businesses destroyed.”
Georgetown County Planning and Building Department staff is actively engaging with special interest groups, including insurance agents and Realtors, to ensure that the public gets widespread access to and knowledge of this new resource.