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Association of State Flood Plain Managers

Association of State Flood Plain Managers Association of State Flood Plain Managers
Association of State Flood Plain Managers
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Timing is Everything When It Comes to Communicating Flood Risks & Solutions
Monday, October 15, 2018

As a flood risk professional, you know when your flood season begins. It’s different all over the country. If you’re in a mountainous area in the West, you know you’re going to have snow melt in the spring. That means you need to plan a risk communication and outreach campaign well in advance of the event. And if your message is for people to make sure and buy flood insurance so they are prepared for potential flood, you also need to get that message out at least 30 days before floods could hit.

Here’s a 30-second video of Montana Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney warning people to get flood insurance before the spring snow melt. The commercial aired in March (a month before spring floods hit the state).

The public service announcement ran about 80 times in a two week period, according to Traci Sears, Montana’s state floodplain manager and ASFPM’s Region 8 director. She also said there was an increase of 558 policies within this time period or a 6.17% increase. Montana is more than 147,000-square-miles (the fourth largest in the U.S.), with just over 1.05 million people. Sears said that number was a significant increase for such a rural state.

And seriously, you don't have to hire a production company to do this. Smart phones can be used, then it can be shared on a community's website and social media pages. Total cost? Zero.

Effective messaging with perfect timing means your people will be better prepared the next time flood season hits. FEMA created a "starter kit" to help you reach out to the media and public about purchasing flood insurance (and it includes a Spanish language kit).






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