2009-12-03 / Front Page

New Flood Maps on Display at Open House

Residents encouraged to check their status now
Special to the Courier

   Putnam County residents are invited to view the county’s new, preliminary flood map at an “Open House” on December 7 at the County Bureau of Emergency Services in Carmel. The meeting is being hosted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which developed the new maps to provide residents with a realistic assessment of their risk for flooding. No public presentation is planned, but floodplain managers and flood insurance experts will be on hand to answer questions about the map and its effect on specific properties.
   Inclusion in an official flood plain carries a mandatory requirement for flood insurance if the structure has a federally backed mortgage, or a mortgage with a federally regulated lender.
   New flood maps are the result of Map Modernization, a five-year, $1 billion program to provide updated, digitized flood maps for 92 percent of the nation’s population.
   The Open House on December 7 will take place in the classroom of the Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services, 112 Old Route 6, Carmel. Residents can stop by anytime between 4 and 8pm to learn how the new, preliminary flood map may affect them. Questions about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), insurance premiums and how to challenge inclusion in the Special Flood Hazard Area will also be covered.
“The new map contains changes, but not major changes,” said Mary Colvin, Acting Director of the Mitigation Division for FEMA, Region II, which includes NY, NJ, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “We encourage all Putnam residents to check the new, preliminary flood map at their municipal offices, or online.” The FEMA website for the new maps is rampp-team.com/ny.htm. Maps are listed alphabetically by county.
    “The first step in protecting yourself and your family against the dangers of flooding is to know which zone you’re in on the new preliminary maps,” said William Nechamen, National Flood Insurance Program Coordinator of the NYS DEC. “Once you know your risks, you can take steps to minimize those risks.” “The single biggest mitigation option is flood insurance,” said Colvin. “If you’re currently out of the flood zone, but are going into it under the new maps, you should buy flood insurance now. That way, your current, less risky flood zone designation can be ‘grandfathered’ in, enabling to get the same coverage and protection at a lower rate.”
   Background on Map Modernization, the National Flood Insurance Program and ‘grandfathering’ is available on the FEMA website, www.FEMA.gov and at the Open House on Dec. 7. FEMA coordinates the government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

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