Flood Insurance Rate Map
citationstyle = August 2007
orphan = August 2007A Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) displays the
floodplainsin a town or area. Such maps are used in town planning, in the insuranceindustry, and by individuals who want to avoid moving into a home at risk of flooding or to know how to protect their property. The term is used mainly in the United Statesbut similar maps exist in many other countries.
It is similar to a
topographicmap, but is designed mainly to show floodplains. Towns or Municipalities use it to plan zoning areas, for example, most places will not allow construction in a flood way.
In the United States the FIRM for each town is occasionally updated. At that time a preliminary FIRM will be published, and available for public viewing and comment. The
Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA) sells the official FIRMs called Community Kits as well as an updating access service to the maps. There are also some companies that sell software to locate land parcels or real estate on digitized FIRMs.
FIRMs are used to set rates of insurance against risk of flood and whether buildings are insurable at all against flood.
*Definition of FIRM from Floodsmart.gov: [http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/glossary.jsp#F]
*Example of a town in the middle of updating FIRMs: [http://www.ci.amarillo.tx.us/departments/engineering.htm]
*Tropical Storm Allison Survivors may use this to lookup FIRMs: [http://maps.tsarp.org/website/tsarp_firm/viewer.htm]
*Free FIRMettes from FEMA: [http://msc.fema.gov/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/info?&content=firmetteHelp_0&title=FIRMette%20Tutorial]
National Flood Insurance Program Floodplain
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