POSTED: Sunday, May 27, 2012 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Sunday, May 27, 2012 - 5:35pm
BATON ROUGE, LA — East Baton Rouge homeowners, business and residential renters, and business owners who do not have flood insurance are encouraged to buy coverage now to get the best possible premiums before new flood insurance rate maps go into effect.
Kyle Jones, chief of staff for the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (MOHSEP), said the new maps will become effective on Tuesday, June 19, giving some extra time for those without flood insurance to get the best possible premiums to protect their property from potential flooding.
Jones noted that MOHSEP has placed a link to the new flood maps on the Red Stick Ready website www.redstickready.com  where East Baton Rouge resident can check their flood zone status. They can also access the new maps directly at http://maps.riskmap6.com/LA/EastBatonRouge/ .
While many residents are required by mortgage and lending companies to carry flood insurance, Jones noted that MOHSEP encourages all residents to purchase flood insurance as the floodplain is ever changing. He also noted that flooding can sometimes occur outside the mapped floodplain.
“The high water event from the 2011 Mississippi River Incident is a great example of how those who were not in a designated flood zone could have been severely affected,” Jones said.
He noted that those residents who purchase flood insurance prior to the June 19 deadline may be able to take advantage of the lower premium, thus saving money on the cost flood insurance.
Current policy holders and those planning to purchase National Flood Insurance Protection are strongly encouraged to contact their insurance agent or company to ensure that they have adequate coverage for building and contents that accounts for new flood risk data.
Those who purchase flood insurance prior to June 19 may be able to grandfather the current flood zone, saving money on flood insurance. For more information on estimated rates for flood insurance, whether you are eligible for grandfathering, and the Preferred Risk Policy extension, or to locate an agent in your area, visit www.floodsmart.gov .
Anyone who hasn’t had a chance to participate in local flood insurance meetings or to review the new flood maps is encouraged to contact the city-parish Department of Public Works, which is the floodplain administrator for East Baton Rouge Parish, at 225-389-3196 or 225-389-3197. The new maps are also available at East Baton Rouge libraries.
See below for other flood-related links of interest:
To see changes since the last FIRM visit maps.riskmap6.com/LA/EastBatonRouge/
To use the live chat service, visit 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 .