FEMA Region 6 and the State of Louisiana

FEMA Cooperating Technical Partner (CTP)

Flooding is local. For that reason, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) works with Cooperating Technical Partners (CTP) around the country to help the federal agency better maintain localized up-to-date flood hazard maps and help share out flood hazard information.

The Challenge

With more than 20,000 communities across the country involved in the National Flood Insurance Program, there is a challenge in making sure flood hazard maps are current and useful. The Water Institute has served as a FEMA CTP since being selected in 2015 based on the Institute’s expertise to forecast and evaluate risk due to natural hazards such as flooding, storm surge, and high rainfall.

The Approach

As a FEMA CTP for FEMA Region 6 and the State of Louisiana, the Institute’s CTP Program Management activity coordinates the planning and management activities required by State CTPs in support of Risk MAP program implementation throughout FEMA Region 6.

Activities performed by the Institute under the CTP program include the creation and annual updates of the Institute’s CTP 5-year Business Plan, implementation of flood risk mapping through watershed discovery projects, special communication projects, and creation of training materials for university engineering students and local engineering practitioners.

The Institute team has done an additional 14 projects ($1 million) outside project management duties, for additional outreach and public service announcements related to flood mitigation and flood risk education.

Among these projects was the development of a series of BLE Tutorials designed for use by local officials and GIS specialists including how to integrate local information with BLE data to inform hazard mitigation decisions. In addition, The Water Institute has held resilience meetings in communities around Louisiana including Lower Ouachita River, Tchefuncte River, Lower Calcasieu, and Lake Maurepas.

The Water Institute has also designed and implemented a number of educational products designed to reach the community at large, as with a series of public service announcements on the importance of flood insurance, and to the professional community, such as an education curriculum for senior-level university engineering students in cooperation with Louisiana State University.

Current projects include doing outreach utilizing BLE and flood depth grids to inform residents of their flood risk on an individual basis while providing information about flood insurance and flood mitigation measures in communities in and around north Baton Rouge, Bayou Baton Rouge, Iberville Parish, and Bayou Teche.