About the Know Your Line High Water Mark Initiative

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About the Initiative

Nearly every community in the United States is at risk for flooding but most Americans do not believe they are at risk. To improve the public's awareness of flood risk and encourage them to take action to reduce it,  FEMA and seven other Federal agencies developed the "Know Your Line: Be Flood Aware" initiative.

The Know Your Line initiative helps communities showcase their local flooding history and motivate their residents to take action by posting high water mark signs in prominent places to show how high flood waters have risen in the past. Communities are encouraged to hold a high profile event to announce the initiative, followed by a wide range of supporting activities to remind residents of their flood risk over time and prompt them to take steps to reduce it.

To support the Know Your Line initiative, FEMA and its partners developed a variety of tools, templates, and other materials available for the first pilot communities to customize in order to launch their own, tailored Know Your Line initiative. The key to this initiative is flexibility, allowing communities to choose materials and outreach tactics that work best for them.

Benefits of Community Participation

Communities that reach out to the public to help prevent the effects of flooding through the Know Your Line initiative:

  • Underscore their commitment to the well-being of residents and the local business community
  • Galvanize their community to take steps now to reduce the often devastating impact of floods
  • Can receive Community Rating System Rating (CRS) points to reduce the cost of flood insurance
  • Can put existing applicable Federal and state mitigation assistance funds to work

Pilot Projects and National Rollout

To inform the initiative, FEMA and its partners are conducting pilot projects across the country. The pilots will allow the working group to refine the materials, messages, and create any new materials that communities may need to better communicate about their flood risk. Following the pilot projects, the initiative plans a national rollout in 2013. If your community may be interested in participating, please nominate your community below and FEMA will send you additional information.

Participating Federal Agencies

Nominate Your Community

The initiative plans a national rollout in 2013. If your community may be interested in participating, please send an email to Vincent Brown at vincent.brown@fema.dhs.gov with your community's name, State, and point of contact and we will send you additional information.  

Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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