How to Prepare for a Winter Storm

Winter storms can cause power outages that last for days. They can make roads and walkways extremely dangerous and also negatively affect critical community services including public transportation, childcare, and health programs. Injuries and deaths may occur from exposure, dangerous road conditions, carbon monoxide poisoning, and other winter storm conditions. Be better prepared this winter, and learn more at

For more information download the provided Winter Storm Guide.

Call For Presenters



We invite you to consider joining us and presenting at the Louisiana Floodplain Management Association (LFMA) Annual Conference. Our 35th Annual Conference will be held April 25th-27th, 2018, in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The presentations and case studies can cover a wide variety of topics addressing all aspects of Floodplain Management. Acceptable topics are Hazard Mitigation, Planning, Mapping, Modeling, Federal, State and Local Programs, Success Stories, Funding, Permitting, Construction Techniques, Stormwater Management, Community Rating System, Flood Insurance, Hurricane Preparedness and Coastal Protection Issues. LFMA is seeking a broad range of presenters who are associated with all aspects of the floodplain world. Our conference and workshops are accepted for “Continuing Education Credits” by most professional organizations. If it is not accepted by your organization, we are happy to work with you to get it approved.

If you have attended an LFMA conference you can appreciate the professional, yet relaxed atmosphere in which you can learn about floodplain matters while exchanging ideas and information with your peers. If you have not attended or presented at an LFMA conference, we invite you to come and experience our diverse group. This is your opportunity to network and share your valuable knowledge and practical experiences.

We are accepting abstracts that illustrate projects associated with work in floodplain management, while expressing your expertise, knowledge and views. Presentations cannot be longer than one (1) hour and must include time for questions and answers. Proposals constituting sales pitches or advertising for products or services will not be considered.

Please submit:

(1) Abstract of 300 words or less
(2) Presenter contact information
(3) Approximate time needed for your presentation (30 minutes or 60 minutes)

 Use this link to submit your abstract and contact information:

Abstracts must be submitted no later than Friday December 21, 2017. Selected presenters will be notified by email in January 2018. The workshop agenda and registration forms will be emailed in late January. Presentations and Speaker BIO’s will be required by March 25th, 2018.

Thank you for your consideration. If you have any questions regarding a presentation or the conference, please contact Michael Hunnicutt at 504-279-4084 ( or Michelle Gonzales at 504-736-6540 (

Benefits and Costs of Freeboard

Benefits and Costs of Freeboard Flyer

One way flood risk is communicated is through maps that show base flood elevations (BFEs), or the height floodwaters would reach during a 1-percent-annual-chance flood in any given year.

Freeboard is a term used by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to describe a factor of safety usually expressed in feet above the 1-percent-annual-chance flood level. The NFIP requires the lowest floor of structures built in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) to be at or above the BFE, so a structure built with freeboard would have its lowest floor 1 foot or more above the BFE. Adding freeboard will reduce NFIP insurance premiums.


National Flood Insurance Program

Provided is a copy of the recent NFIP Premium Comparison ChartThis chart comes in handy when dealing with homeowners or local officials. It helps explain the benefits of flood insurance, elevating and freeboard as it relates to monetary savings.  The NFIP Call Center Brochure is for anyone needing assistance from the NFIP Support Center.

Courtesy of: Mark Lujan (FEMA Region VI – Sr. Region Insurance Specialist) & and John Miles (FEMA Region VI)

Meteorologist Terminology

What’s the Difference Between a Tropical Depression, Tropical Storm and Hurricane?

 Meteorologists use special terminology based on various classifications for developing tropical activity.

You’ve heard meteorologists describe these weather formations as tropical systems, tropical disturbances, tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes. What does all of this terminology really mean?

Stages of Tropical Formation:

The first official stage of a tropical classification is a tropical depression, but before this happens meteorologists refer to this potential activity using many different terms, all which mean about the same thing.

You’ll hear them throw out some of these terms: tropical system, tropical feature, tropical activity, tropical disturbance, tropical wave. These descriptions all refer to a weather formation that has potential to strengthen and organize into a substantial tropical storm, or even a hurricane.

When these descriptors are used, the storm at its current state doesn’t have strong enough sustained and organized winds or the pressure necessary to be classified as a tropical depression.

Tropical Depression

A tropical depression forms when a low pressure area is accompanied by thunderstorms that produce a circular wind flow with maximum sustained winds below 39 mph. Most tropical depressions have maximum sustained winds between 25 and 35 mph.

In the U.S., the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is responsible for issuing advisories upgrading or downgrading tropical activity.

Reconnoissance aircraft missions are sent by the NHC flying into tropical storms to gather data, like wind speeds, to aid in making these classification changes. Surface data from islands, buoys and vessels can also be used to make changes.

Tropical Storm

An upgrade into a tropical storm occurs when cyclonic circulation becomes more organized and maximum sustained winds gust consistently at or above 39 mph, and no higher than 73 mph. Tropical storm status is when the naming of the storm takes place.

Hurricane Classification

A tropical storm is then upgraded into Category 1 hurricane status as maximum sustained winds increase to between 74 mph and 95 mph.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is used to rate hurricane intensity in the Atlantic Basin. A 1-5 rating system is used, with Category 1 being a less intense storm and Category 5 very intense.

Story by Carly Porter, Staff Writer

Virtual Brown Bag Series

FEMA Region 6 Virtual Brown Bag Series

Introduction  to Base Level Engineering
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
12:00-12:45pm CT
Sign up now through EventBrite. (RSVP by noon CT on October 30th)

Base Level Engineering data is of critical importance in assessing the current flood hazard inventory, creating data building blocks and modeling that can be leveraged and refined. Base Level Engineering provides a platform for communities, states and federal entities to work collectively towards the long term reduction of flood risk throughout the communities we serve.

More resources on flood risk products are available on the website under the Resources and Related Links in the Information for Local Officials section.

Please RSVP for this webinar on this EventBrite page.