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Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Recent Articles







NFIP Rating and the Community Rating System



Know Your Line: Be Flood Aware


Upcoming Changes to the NFIP – Recent Flood Insurance Legislation will Affect Subsidized Rates for Pre-FIRM Buildings



States and Communities Work to Coordinate Building Codes and Floodplain Management Ordinances



FloodSmart Websites Offer New Resources for FloodSmart Partners and Agents


Disputing Flood Zones


Know Your Line: Be Flood Aware

Showcasing the facts: “Flooding Can—and Has—Happened Here”

Floods are the most common and costly natural disasters in the country, but many opportunities exist for individuals to prevent flood damage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and seven other Federal agencies concerned about flood risk are working with local officials to help their residents do just that. Together, this Federal working group is developing an outreach initiative to help local officials increase the awareness of flood risk within their communities. The initiative, “Know Your Line: Be Flood Aware,” will help communities showcase their history of flooding to motivate residents to take action to reduce flood risk.

The “Know Your Line” initiative encourages local officials to post high water mark signs in prominent places throughout the community, such as city hall, libraries, or tourist attractions, to identify their history of flooding. Communities will then be encouraged to hold a high profile event to announce the initiative, followed by community supported activities to continue to remind residents of their flood risk and prompt them to take steps to reduce it.

“It Won’t Happen Here”

Buildings in high risk areas have a 26 percent chance of being damaged by flooding during

Dec.10, 1978; 48,47 ft.; Know Your Line Be Flood Aware; www.FrankforFEMA.org

the course of a typical 30-year mortgage. Residents and businesses often take few, if any, steps to protect themselves from these potentially life-changing events, opting instead to trust that “it won’t happen here.”

Many local officials understand that flooding can happen in their area. Communicating that risk can be a challenge. Whether a community experienced severe flooding a century ago or just last spring, showcasing the dramatic outcome of its most severe flood can be a powerful tool for a community. This can provide a powerful testimony to the power of flood and daily reminder to residents and businesses of the conseqences of flooding and the need to reduce flood risks.

A Unique Opportunity

Through a nationwide survey of homeowners, FEMA found that citizens expect to hear about flooding from their local officials. Local officials have a unique opportunity to raise awareness of flooding risk in their area by:

  • underscoring their commitment to the well-being of residents and the local business community;

  • galvanizing their community to take immediate steps to reduce the often devastating impact of floods;

  • joining the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System Rating (CRS) to receive points to help reduce the cost of flood insurance for their residents; and

  • putting Federal and state mitigation assistance funds to work.

Agencies Supporting the High Water Mark Initiative

Federal Emergency Management Agency

National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Administration National Park Service

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

U.S. Geological Survey

U.S. Small Business Administration

A Pilot to Raise Awareness of Flood Risk and a Call to Action

To gain local officials’ perspectives on the Know Your Line initiative, FEMA and its partners are preparing to launch up to six pilot projects with communities in the United States during 2013. These pilot communities will be the first to review the initiative’s tools and materials, and they will provide insight into the campaign prior to the national roll-out.

Members of the Federal working group will work with the pilot communities to:

  • tailor a strategy and materials to suit each community’s needs;
  • provide recommendations and consultation on implementation activities; and
  • provide recognition to pilot participants online, at conferences and trade association meetings.

Each community will decide what kind of outreach it will conduct after their high water mark signs are posted to continue to keep the initiative in the public eye. Possible activities include posting along waterways to

3 People around a high water sign

encourage people to take low- or no-cost steps to reduce their flood risk, and using the signs in high population centers, where they may feel it is most helpful to encourage people to buy flood insurance and/or elevate their homes.

Following the pilots, the working group will further refine the approach and then offer the Know Your Line initiative’s strategy, tools, and relationships to communities nationwide. See the webpage to learn more about flood risk.

To learn more about the Know Your Line Initiative, please contact Vincent Brown of FEMA.

Check out FloodSmart.gov! | Last Updated: 10/14/15
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