ALLEN PARISH, La. -- Allen 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 March 17, 2011.
The latest flood hazard maps, known as Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps delineate new flood-risk zones and serve as an integral part of the National Flood Insurance Plan, 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 Mike Hunnicutt, Federal Emergency Management Agency's Deputy Section Chief for the National Flood Insurance Program and Compliance Division. "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by Allen Parish and the communities within the parish, the DFIRMS will replace the current effective maps, which are outdated and produced using earlier technology.
For more information about the maps or mapping process, contact a FEMA Map Specialist at 1-877-FEMA-MAP (1-877-336-2627), send an email to FEMAMapSpecialist@riskmapcds.com or visit http://go.usa.gov/r6C to chat live.
Individuals may also consult with their local Allen Parish floodplain administrator at 337-639-4328 with questions on which flood map or elevations to use going forward when rebuilding.
Homeowners who purchase flood insurance prior to March 17, 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.
Contacting a local insurance agent is the first step to gather information about relatively low cost federally backed insurance through NFIP. Visit www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-888-379-9531 to locate an agent in your area.
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.