FEMA has provided an interesting visual overview of what FEMA flood maps are and how the map update process works using the Flood Map Infographic. Year to year, flooding is the most costly disaster in America. Flood maps play a vital role in helping us prepare for flooding by informing communities about the local flood risk. Flood maps help communities to incorporate flood risk into their planning. They’re also the basis for flood insurance rates through the National Flood Insurance Program, which FEMA administers at the direction of Congress. By law, you may be required to get flood insurance if you live in the highest risk areas. But flooding can happen anywhere — about 20 percent of all the flood claims come from areas with lower risk. And you don’t have to live close to water to be at risk.