Community Engagement & Risk Communication

Community Engagement and Risk Communication through Risk MAP is vital for the future success of the program in working with communities to be aware and understand their risk and taking actions that reduce those risks to create more resilient communities. Community Engagement brings together the right to understand the community, their needs and capabilities, and provides opportunities where FEMA can help them towards advancing the actions that reduce their risks.

FEMA is considering incorporating community engagement and consultation when working with communities to better understand what they need in order to implement risk reduction and provide flood maps where there is a true need. Tell us how we could successfully accomplish this and who might be involved to help facilitate the community engagement as well as potential contract structures to best support these efforts.

Campaign: Community Engagement & Risk Communication

Web Map Viewer

One giant step forward FEMA could take on the public outreach side is to follow what many communites across the nation have already done and create a user-friendly flood map viewer that could be used. Once created, these tools could be used at public outreach meetings to engage the community and talk about their risk. Some State examples include: Maryland - http://www.mdfloodmaps.com West Virginia - http://www.mapwv.gov/flood/ ...more »

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Campaign: Community Engagement & Risk Communication

Discovery and Resilience Meetings

FEMA-contractor led Discovery and Resilience meetings that we've attended have been disappointingly directionless and unproductive. Truly effective Discovery and mitigation planning requires a boots-on-the-ground understanding of the communities in the watershed and establishment of relevant relationships with local entities. Providing guidance and resources to, working in concert with and leveraging State contacts and ...more »

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Campaign: Community Engagement & Risk Communication

Refurbishing Buildings After Flooding from Mold and Mildew

We need to look at ways of managing the consequences of flooded buildings in a community. Especially, thinking of cleaning out affected basements and rooms in homes, what to do about mold and mildew, how to refurbish. Research into these cleaning procedures is very important, as well as creating regional procedural standards. -June R. Massoud, Computer Engineer

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Campaign: Community Engagement & Risk Communication

FEMA Region Field Offices

To enhance and elevate community engagement, one idea would be to have FEMA Regional staff representatives (engineers and planners, not just State floodplain coordinators) designated to staff and serve in Region field offices. A FEMA Region field office would place community engagement and outreach resources into a better local position to work with communities. These local field staff resources could operate more effectivley ...more »

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Campaign: Community Engagement & Risk Communication

Contracting Support for Outreach and Engagement

There are a lot of companies and organizations that have excellent relationships with their communities and have innovative and proven community engagement practices. What mechanisms does FEMA have to access these smaller private and non-profit entities and what capacity/processes does FEMA have/need to disseminate 'best practices' in an appropriate manner?

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Campaign: Community Engagement & Risk Communication

User-friendly Flood Risk Application

Showing draft preliminary maps on the MSC is a great new functionality that was recently released, but it’s still very difficult for a homeowner to locate themselves and for communities to determine which map panel to view. The MSC viewer that creates FIRMettes for effective data can help a homeowner or community identify approximate locations in relation to risk; however, for planning purposes, it would be great to be ...more »

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Campaign: Community Engagement & Risk Communication

An Integrated Online Outreach Approach

Using an integrated outreach approach that combines online processes with opportunities for face-to-face engagement will give FEMA the opportunity to communicate with communities and keep them more informed about risk reduction strategies. By using the internet to connect with communities throughout a Risk MAP study, FEMA may be able to better understand the needs of the community and determine if there is a need for ...more »

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Campaign: Community Engagement & Risk Communication

Small Stream Mapping

Many New England communities have small streams like the one in back of my property -- 2' wide by 2' deep. Our house is high above the stream, yet 5 years ago this house was listed as in a flood plain on FEMA maps. I had to hire a local surveyor to check FEMA regs and submit an appeal, which was granted (with a disclaimer, however). This cost $1600. I am a senior citizen, and this was very costly, to remove the FEMA ...more »

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Campaign: Community Engagement & Risk Communication

Communication At Every Level

1) Education and engagement needs to begin with internal staff - FEMA's Response, Recovery and External Affairs Divisions should be well versed in Mitigation so at any given time they can assist community leaders, media, and congressional leaders to identify risk and take action. 2) Flood Insurance is part of resilience and so should be talked about at every step in the process. Even if there is not a new map, impacts ...more »

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Campaign: Community Engagement & Risk Communication

Awareness in an A.D.D. world

DFIRMS don't communicate well with many people, but Hazus Flood Information Tool (FIT) user created Depth Grids can, and can be done quickly and cheaply. The visual map reveals the potential hazard near their location with out any excess information. But next, they say "it doesn't flood here". This is where the State or Community need to have historical information, but more importantly images and videos. Youtube ...more »

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Campaign: Community Engagement & Risk Communication

CERC SOO

FEMA needs increased and specialized capabilities and skills to achieve its goals for Community Engagement ad Risk Communication (CERC). To maintain efficiency (minimizing hand-offs which could be disruptive to communities and adversely impact achieving Risk MAP goals and objectives), having one contractor responsible for a Risk MAP project from Discovery through delivery of regulatory products is desirable. In order ...more »

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Campaign: Community Engagement & Risk Communication

Volunteerism: Engaging Others to Communicate Flood Risk

A number of non-profit organizations exist that have the infrastructure and capacity (and following) to help FEMA engage communities in the process of identifying and addressing flood risk. Research has shown that people like to hear important messages from local resources as opposed to the Federal government. Consideration should be given to identify and “train” these organizations to help carry the flood risk reduction/mitigation ...more »

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