WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Urban Drainage and Flood Control District of Denver Monday became one of the first groups to join the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in a new partnership initiative designed to help individuals and communities protect themselves from flooding by updating and modernizing flood maps.
"The Cooperating Technical Communities partnerships are powerful," FEMA Director James Lee Witt said. "These partnerships heighten public awareness of flood risk and protect communities by maximizing local and federal resources while maintaining consistent national standards."
The Cooperating Technical Communities initiative is part of FEMA's national Flood Map Modernization plan to update the nation's flood maps. The plan calls for conversion of maps into a more accessible digital format. Flood maps identify areas at risk to flooding and help set insurance rates used by the National Flood Insurance Program.
"Accurate, up-to-date flood maps are essential in helping communities and individuals protect themselves from flooding," Witt said. "The maps allow communities to put new development out of harm's way. They tell homeowners how high to elevate the first level of their homes to protect them from potential floodwaters and inform individuals and businesses who should be protecting their investments with flood insurance."
Under the Cooperating Technical Communities initiative, the local partner enters an agreement with FEMA that affirms its commitment to protecting the community through flood-hazard identification, flood insurance and floodplain management. The local partner and FEMA then work together to identify and create agreements to perform specific flood-mapping tasks.
The Denver Urban Drainage and Flood Control District represents 32 communities in the Denver, Colo. area.