Two of the most useful tools we have in avoiding the worst Mother Nature can bring are knowledge and preparation.

As we get ready for the quickly approaching hurricane season, many of us are starting to think about the preparations we can undergo to protect our homes, families and businesses.

These will include measures such as gathering evacuation kits and making sure the exteriors of our homes are all set for storm season.

But knowledge is also a key to being ready. And the state has a useful new weapon for our arsenal.

Do you know how likely your home is to flood?

If you don’t know and want to learn, check out the Master Plan Data Viewer at cims.coastal.louisiana.gov/masterplan.

The viewer allows you to see the flood risks associated with communities and even individual addresses. This can be a greatly impactful innovation.

“The Master Plan Data Viewer was developed for Louisiana citizens and stakeholders to have virtual access to location-specific information, and to encourage thought and planning about various environmental scenarios, coastal land loss, and storm surge impacts that may impact homes and businesses,” said Bren Haase, chief of Planning and Research at the Louisiana Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority.

Haase makes an interesting point in saying that the viewer is meant to encourage us to think about the risk we face and to plan for what we will do under certain scenarios.

We know this much: We live in a region that is vulnerable to storms, and the changes that are hitting our environment will likely make that vulnerability worse in the coming years.

The state’s medium estimates – not even the worst-case scenarios – say that our region will lose around 41 percent of its land in the next 50 years. That will bring the water closer to the land that remains, dramatically increasing our risk of flooding.

The viewer allows you to see the estimates, for instance, of what a 100-year storm would mean for your area.

There is also information in the viewer about the work that is progressing that will affect the flood risk of each location. That, too, is useful as we contemplate an uncertain future.

Finally, there is plenty of information about how home owners can reduce their risk of flooding – a vitally important consideration.

Altogether, the tool offers local folks a good chance to improve their store of knowledge, something that can only help us.

 

Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.