Since 2014, FEMA has provided a monthly summary to Congress providing details on flood risk mapping milestones reached in the previous month and an estimated schedule of specific flood risk mapping activities anticipated in the next three months.
The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, as revised, and the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 direct FEMA to notify Members of Congress when constituents in their district will be affected by a flood mapping update.
Through Risk MAP, FEMA continuously releases updated flood maps and data, giving communities access to helpful, authoritative data that they can use to make decisions about flood risk.
2020 Notices to Congress
2019 Notices to Congress
2015-2018 Notices to Congress
Each monthly notice to Congress includes news about FEMA’s flood map program. Here's the latest news.
FEMA Region III and the Lackawanna County Flood Risk Coalition Work Together to Raise Awareness of Flood Risk
In April 2018, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) partnered with local, county, and State-level organizations to create the Lackawanna County Flood Risk Coalition (the Coalition), a group dedicated to educating Lackawanna County property owners about flood risk and mitigation measures. FEMA Region III and the Coalition created a new approach to their community engagement strategy in the period leading up to December 2019, when public meetings to introduce the county’s new Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) would be held. The Coalition took the initiative to lead outreach efforts in the community through locally tailored approaches that would drive engagement.
To get local residents interested in flood mapping and raise awareness about flood risk, the Coalition sent out postcards, flyers, and a press release. The Coalition’s media outreach efforts resulted in a story about flood risk on PAHomepage, a website operated by Eyewitness News, and two articles in the Scranton Times-Tribune on changing flood risk and on a flood map information session. Additionally, the Coalition used social media to engage community members in flood risk conversations. They identified and reached out to more than 75 community organizations through Facebook. In just over a week, the Open House Facebook event page reached 3,800 people, as 28 Coalition members and non-partner organizations shared the event on their pages.
The Coalition was also able to secure free advertising on a 14- by 48-foot digital billboard beside the ScrantonCarbondale Highway, directly across from Viewmont Mall. The sign ran for a total of 16 days, from November 25 to December 10. While about 41,000 drivers pass this location daily, there was likely additional traffic due to Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
The Coalition’s community-driven outreach efforts led to wider awareness of the flood map changes and increased residents’ understanding of their flood risk and ways to reduce it. The collaboration between Coalition members and others in the community during the run-up to the Open Houses strengthened relationships that will be critical for local ownership of flood risk awareness and mitigation in the future. Following the successful events, FEMA Region III and the Coalition will continue outreach efforts through the date the maps become effective.