Smith County, Texas (KETK) —
In five months, on Wednesday, April 14, 2014, new flood maps for Smith County, Texas will become effective. Before that date, state, local and federal officials are encouraging everyone to view the maps to understand their flood risk and consider purchasing flood insurance.
Most property insurance policies do not cover the effects of a flood. Floods can place people at risk of uninsured loss to their businesses, homes and personal property if they don’t have either a private flood insurance policy or coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a voluntary protection program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Flooding is the #1 natural disaster in the United States and only flood insurance covers these unexpected, damaging and sometimes fatal events. “Where there is rain, there could be flooding,” said FEMA Region 6 Administrator Tony Robinson. “Everyone lives in a flood zone.
To learn if your community participates in the NFIP and to review the new flood maps, residents can contact their local floodplain administrator.
FEMA map specialists and flood insurance experts also are available to answer questions. They can be reached by phone and online chat:
To use the live chat service, visit http://go.usa.gov/r6C . Click on the “Live Chat” icon.
To contact a FEMA Map Specialist, call 1-877-FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627) or send an email to FEMAMapSpecialist@riskmapcds.com .
- View the maps online at http://maps.riskmap6.com/TX/Smith/ 
FEMA encourages communities not currently participating in the NFIP to look at the benefits of joining the program. Participation in the NFIP can assure a faster recovery in the event of a devastating flood. Contacting a local insurance agent is the first step to obtaining information about insurance. Folks can visit www.floodsmart.gov  or call 1-888-379-9531 to locate an agent in their 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. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 .