BATON ROUGE, La. – As hurricane season approaches, people can turn to the LSU AgCenter website (www.LSUAgCenter.com) for information on how to prepare for storm damage and recovery.
Among the resources are flood maps that use National Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) to show potential risk from floods and wind. Users can enter their address on the website to determine if they live in a flood hazard area and to see what wind speeds typically affect that location during storms, said Pat Skinner, AgCenter disaster recovery and mitigation specialist.
“The maps are a unique resource specific to Louisiana that make people more aware of risks and help people build new homes that are resistant to hurricanes," Skinner said.
Skinner's team has been adding to the flood maps Web page since 2008. This year, the page has been updated to be easily viewed on a mobile electronic device, such as a smartphone or tablet.
The maps are updated every time Flood Insurance Rate Maps change, Skinner said, but the old maps remain online so users can see how hazard areas have changed.
The Web page also shows preliminary flood maps for 16 parishes. These are maps that have not yet become official FIRMs but can be helpful in building construction, insurance decisions and storm preparation, Skinner said. To view preliminary maps, visit Flood Maps and click on the striped parishes.
The AgCenter's website also features an "Are You Ready?" portal that contains information on preparing families, pets, livestock and crops for disasters and recovering from damage.