Portions of the following text were retrieved on 17 May 2010 from: http://www.fema.gov/hazard/map/firm.shtm
A Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is the official map of a community on which FEMA has delineated both the special hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.
Private citizens and insurance and brokers use the FIRM to locate properties and buildings in flood insurance risk areas.
Community officials use the FIRM to administer floodplain management regulations and to mitigate flood damage.
Lending institutions and federal agencies use the FIRM to locate properties and buildings in relation to mapped flood hazards, and to determine whether flood insurance is required when making loans or providing grants following a disaster for the purchase or construction of a building.
FEMA has available a tutorial to educate users on the use and application of FEMA FIRMs. Each component of the FIRM is explored. The tutorial includes a section that contains examples of getting specific information from FIRMs:
FEMA has established administrative procedures for changing effective FIRMs based on new or revised scientific or technical data.
Click one of the squares in the image below to view the corresponding flood map for that area of Harrison County: