The Indiana Department of Natural Resources will conduct two public forums next month for residents to view preliminary flood hazard maps for the area.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has proposed new changes to the Jefferson County map, which has not been updated for more than 20 years.

Flood insurance rate maps identify property as having high, moderate or low flood risk. In addition to affecting property owners, the maps allow community planners, engineers, permit officials, builders and others to determine if, where and how new structures and developments should be constructed.

Both meetings will take place Tuesday, May 14.

From 1 to 3 p.m., representatives from Jefferson County, Madison, Hanover, Dupont and Brooksburg will meet at City Hall to discuss changes in the mapping. DNR representatives will address questions and concerns.

A community open house will follow from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Madison Consolidated High School cafeteria. Computer stations will be set up for property owners to view the mapping, and DNR representatives will be on hand to answer questions.

Following the meetings, a 90-day public comment period will start. During that period, property owners can submit appeals and protests. Once the feedback is received and addressed, the maps are expected to be adopted in 2015, when the new insurance requirements will take effect.

The preliminary maps may be viewed at