Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in response to the rising cost of taxpayer-funded disaster relief for flood victims and the increasing amount of damage caused by floods. The NFIP makes federally backed flood insurance available in communities that agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances to reduce further flood damage.
One way to determine if you property is located in a floodplain is by viewing the Flood Control District's a 100-year FEMA floodplain maps. You can also determine the relative flood risk for your property (one way flood insurance rates are determined) at the FEMA website. Educate yourself on flood insurance with these flood insurance facts (PDF).