Living with the Risk

Patricia Skinner  |  1/8/2007 8:25:09 AM

Flooding directly affects thousands of Louisiana citizens living in and near flood hazard areas. For them, managing the risk means:

  • Recognizing the potential for future flood damage
  • Protecting assets by purchasing flood insurance for the building and/or its contents
  • Protecting the home or office by taking steps to prevent flood damage

For many who have not experienced flooding, the first impacts of owning property in the SFHA have to do with development regulations.

In every community where federal flood insurance is available, the local governing body has adopted the FEMA flood study and map, also known as the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), as a basis for regulating new development so it will be:

  • Less likely to suffer flood damage
  • Less likely to induce or aggravate flooding.

In Louisiana, more than 280 parishes and local communities participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). These communities are listed in a Community Status Book. This listing shows when each community entered the program and whether it is in good standing, on probation or suspended.

The community’s standing in the NFIP affects flood insurance availability and premiums for all community residents. The relationship between when a building was constructed and when the community entered the program affects the premium rates that apply to that particular building.

For the entire community, living with the risk means:

  • Recognizing the benefits of the damage-prevention ordinances required for community participation in the NFIP
  • Supporting the enforcement of flood-damage-prevention ordinances, so the community will not be put on probation or suspended from the program
  • Supporting the adoption of damage-prevention ordinances that exceed the NFIP minimum standards and address local flood situations
  • Choosing to build to standards that exceed ordinance requirements

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