Every year FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) provides
communities with updated maps and flood information to be used to help
determine insurance rates and resident location flood hazards. Included
in this delivery is Geographic Information System (GIS) specific
information that can be integrated into existing community maps. This
combination of information allows the user to recognize trends that may
not be noticeable when looking at separate sources.
In previous FEMA deliveries to the Village of Wheeling, flood maps
were provided showing the different flood zones and the floodway along
the Des Plaines River and the various creeks and streams that flowed
into it. When a resident called to find out if a property was within a
specific flood zone to determine if flood insurance needed to be
purchased, a village employee would have to compare the flood map with a
map displaying addresses and lot lines. By combining the flood map
with the address map with GIS, you get a map clearly showing where the
flood zones overlap lots lines with the respective address. This
process saves time and can provide a more accurate estimate of a
resident’s location to a flood zone.
The flood information provided by FEMA could also be combined with
other data accessible by the village’s GIS. Combining the flood data
with village Zoning and TIF district information can help a prospective
builder make a more informed decision on a building location.
Although all data provided by FEMA and the village of Wheeling
existed prior to GIS, it was never combined in such a way to provide
more accurate information and a map that is easier to use.