ALEXANDRIA, La. -- As Louisiana residents continue to rebuild from the devastating storms in October and November of last year, they should utilize the resources provided through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), including flood maps, said officials of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP).
Flood maps are the tool FEMA uses to determine the flood risk that homeowners face. Prior to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), homeowners had no way to protect themselves from the devastation of flooding and in many parts of the United States unchecked development in the floodplain was increasing the flood risk. Today, such maps are readily available to homeowners.
Flood maps are available through the Map Service Center (MSC), which has a new look that is designed to provide the same functionality, but with more information and resources. The new MSC website is not only the official government source, but the best site for flood hazard mapping information, products and services.
The FEMA Flood Map Store (store.msc.fema.gov) and the MSC informational website (msc.fema.gov) have been merged into a single new MSC website: msc.fema.gov. You do not need to update your favorites or bookmarks; the FEMA Flood Map Store URL will redirect you automatically to the new MSC website. For more details on what has changed, look at the New MSC Website Fact Sheet.
The MSC has several how-to guides available for free download. Look at the Documents, Publications and Forms page for guides on how to use Map Search and how to create FIRMettes.
A FIRMette is a full-scale section of a FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) that you create yourself online by selecting the desired area from an image of a Flood Insurance Rate Map. The FIRMette also includes the map title block, north arrow, and scale bar. There is no charge for making a FIRMette. And because a FIRMette is a full-scale section of an official FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map, it can be used in all aspects of the NFIP, including floodplain management, flood insurance, and enforcement of mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.