Committing Communities to Take Action

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This section covers Committing Communities to Take Action.

Communities looking to participate in the High Water Mark (WHM) initiative will soon have access to a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) document which will provide step by step instructions on how to prepare for and manage a HWM Project.

If your community is interested in participating, send an email to Vincent Brown at with your community's name, state, and point of contact and we will send you additional information.

The audience for this page includes local officials, emergency management personnel, community leaders as well as FEMA Regions, Federal, state, and local entities who are interested in coordinating a High Water Mark Project.

Is a High Water Mark Project Right For You?

Before considering a High Water Mark Project, communities need to assess their long term goals for raising flood risk awareness and what long-term actions can be completed to increase resilience.

Communities will be asked to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a lead Federal partner (usually the FEMA Region the community is located in) if a community commits to implementing mitigation actions after a HWM Launch event. At which point, FEMA can commit resources to help pay for signs. The MOU asks that communities do the following on a basic level:

  • Appoint a representative as HWM Project Coordinator.
  • Work with FEMA representatives to identify mitigation opportunities.
  • Assist with planning a HWM Launch event including logistics media, and public affairs activities.
  • Attend all planning meetings with the FEMA Region and collaborate with them on a short- and long-term mitigation strategy.
  • Post HWM signs in high profile locations throughout the community.
  • Hold a high-profile HWM Launch event, by including the presence of community, state and Federal officials, to announce the HWM Project to the public, unveiling the sign, and inviting the local media and public to attend.
  • Provide status updates after the HWM Launch on proposed mitigation action.
  • Continue to implement mitigation activities.
  • Continue to promote awareness around the signs.

FEMA or another Federal partners will provide guidance on the initiative, access to tools and templates, samples of work other communities have done to promote local flood risk, and information about potential Community Rating System points for those communities looking to join the program or gain points through the Program for Public Information (PPI).

We look forward to working with you to raise flood risk awareness and motivate people to take action now to reduce their risk.


Last Updated: 
05/01/2015 - 10:16
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