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Local Official Survey Findings on Flood Risk

Through 2010-2015, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administered the National Flood Risk Awareness Survey. FEMA will continue to deploy a national survey to local officials to better understand their beliefs and experience around flood risk and proactive actions that reduce risk. In 2016, and moving forward, FEMA assessed the effectiveness of the survey to adjust the instrument based on findings.

The data from the 2010 - 2015 surveys provide insight into local officials’ general understanding and awareness of flood risk, effective community engagement strategies, and the Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP) Program’s progress in the identification, mitigation, and communication of flood risk.

2015 Flood Risk Awareness Survey Objectives         

  • Awareness and understanding of flood risk
  • Mitigation actions
  • Preferences and frequency for communicating flood risk
  • Needs for assistance to advance communication efforts

Flood Risk Awareness

In 2015, the majority of local officials believed that their community was either at risk or vulnerable to flooding (63% and 67%, respectively). Although flood risk awareness remains fairly high among local officials (two-thirds of respondents in Risk MAP communities), the program recognizes that there have been decreases in the years since 2013 and is actively examining new ways to measure and influence awareness at the local level.

 63%

Local Officials' Knowledge about Flood Risk and Mitigation

Capital Icon73% Agree that flood risk can change over time due to new weather patterns, development, and other factors.

Cloud with lightning icon78% Agree that their community depends on the local government for flood risk information to protect themselves and their properties from flooding.

Money bag icon65% Agree that there are actions communities can take to recover quickly after a flood.

Paper icon50% Agree  that there are many available resources, both technical and financial , that can be used to reduce your community’s flood risk.

Communications Channels

Local officials use a variety of communications channels to inform their communities about flood risks.  The internet (37%), newspaper (34%), and community gatherings (30%) were the most frequently cited modes of communication for flood risk. Alternatively, text (12%) was the least endorsed communication channel to inform communities about flood risk.

Additional Information

To download public survey results from past years, click the years below:

Last Updated: 
11/17/2017 - 14:40