VERMILION PARISH, La. – Vermilion Parish property owners without flood insurance are encouraged to buy coverage now to get the best possible premiums before new flood insurance rate maps go into effect on January 19, 2011.
The latest flood hazard maps, known as Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMS), delineate new flood-risk zones and serve as an integral part of the National Flood Insurance Plan (NFIP), which plays a key role in defense against flood losses. Property owners need to know that this could mean a change in their floodplain status.
“We encourage residents to look at the flood maps now and to be familiar with the latest risks of potential flooding in their area,” said Joseph Threat, Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Louisiana Recovery Office acting executive director. “The maps can help residents make informed decisions about protecting their property.”
The DFIRMs were developed as part of the nationwide map modernization effort spearheaded by FEMA, which administers the NFIP. Once officially adopted by Vermilion Parish and the communities within the parish, the DFIRMS will replace the current effective maps, which are outdated and produced using earlier technology.
Homeowners who purchase flood insurance prior to January 19, 2011 may be able to grandfather the current flood zone designation saving money on flood insurance. Current policy holders and those planning to purchase NFIP protection are strongly encouraged to contact their insurance agent or company to ensure that they have adequate coverage and that policies account for new flood risk data.
Individuals may also consult with their local Vermilion Parish floodplain administrator at (337) 898-4300 with questions on which flood map or elevations to use going forward when rebuilding.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.