CRS Track  | Palm Beach/Broward Rooms

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm City of Fernandina Beach PPI (Related Activities: 330) | Angie Lester, SBTO, City of Fernandina Beach • Chris Mason, CFM, Collier County • Sue Ann Alleger, MLA, Nassau County

In January of 2017 the City of Fernandina Beach Building Department staff and Nassau County Planning & Economic Opportunity staff met to establish an alliance to create a joint Program for Public Information (PPI) to aid in their community’s membership to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS). While many aspects of the joint PPI were discussed and reviewed, the notion of public outreach in the form of a Flood Poster Awareness contest involving children was identified as a good starting point for the joint PPI.

At the beginning of May 2017 City of Fernandina Beach Building Department staff and Nassau County Planning & Economic Opportunity staff visited two locations within the city and county jurisdictions to promote the Flood Awareness Poster Contest.  The two sites that were visited are as follows:

  • The Atlantic Avenue Recreation Center After School Program (City of Fernandina Beach)
  • Yulee Elementary School (Nassau County)

City and County staff met with the aforementioned students through public presentation to provide basic flood safety information followed by an outline of the poster contest.  The following topics were designated by city and county staff as topics that were to be covered in the poster contest below:

  • Turn around, don’t drown.
  • Designate a place where your family can rendezvous after an evacuation order is issued.
  • You need flood insurance.
  • Renters should buy flood insurance for their contents.
  • Get a permit from Nassau County Building Department before you build.
  • Protect our turtle nesting areas: stay off the beach after sunset.
  • Make a plan with your family. Don’t forget about your pets.

The City of Fernandina Beach and Nassau County provided the materials for the students to create their art work. The students were given a week to create their productions. Staff from both jurisdictions worked with teachers and volunteers from both locations to collect the student’s submissions. The posters were gathered from both locations after which city and county staff reviewed and selected winners. It must be noted that there were 400+ submissions. The vast majority were received from Yulee Elementary School. The poster contest involved the entire 5th grade class from Yulee Elementary.

Three poster contest winners were identified at both the Atlantic Avenue Recreation Center as well as Yulee Elementary School. Each winner was awarded with a certificate and a chance to have their artwork displayed at a City of Fernandina City Commission meeting as well as a Nassau County Board of County Commissioners meeting. A presentation was made at both commission meetings outlining the poster contest, its purpose and winning applicants.

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm Creating Your Own PPI (Related Activities: 320, 330, 340, 350, 360, 370, 510, 540, 610) | Noah Taylor, CFM, ENV SP, City of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg’s Program for Public Information

The best way to address flood issues is through engagement of stakeholders and the community. The Program for Public Information is a vital component to help St. Petersburg prepare for impacts from storm surge and localized flooding. The PPI was introduced in 2014 to coordinate public outreach within City and involves stakeholders such as Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Tampa Bay Watch, Insurance Agents, and Realtors, to create and track outreach projects and to provide a unified message. This unified message helps educate the public about flood hazards, flood insurance, building properly, and floodplain functions. The St. Petersburg PPI helps encourage growth and stability in the face of flood hazards, through involvement of their stakeholders.

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm Creating Your Own Real Estate Flood Disclosure Program (Related Activities: 320, 330, 340) | Lisa Foster, CFM, Pinellas County

Many prospective real estate buyers in Florida are not aware of flood risks or do not know how to find out the flood risk of a property. One of the best times to advise someone of a flood hazard is when they are considering the purchase of property. Federal regulations, however, only require that a lender advise a person of the flood hazard before closing on the loan, which may be after the buyer is already vested in the property. Real estate professionals are in an ideal position to educate potential residents about flood risks, flood insurance, and how to protect their investments.

The NFIP CRS Program recognizes this and provides CRS credit under activity 340 if a community’s real estate agents advise prospective floodplain occupants about the flood hazard and the flood insurance purchase requirement. A complete Real Estate Flood Disclosure Program may also provide for CRS points under activities 330 and 370.

Learn how to develop your Own Real Estate Flood Disclosure Program, including a training program for real estate professionals that builds their awareness about flood zones and flood insurance, and provides the right tools to inform potential buyers. Learn how to apply the Real Estate Flood Disclosure Program to your CRS program participation.

Floodplain Management Track  | Cape Canaveral/Volusia Rooms

Leveraging Social Media for Disaster Response: The Promises and Pitfalls of Citizen Sensor in Emergency Management | Christopher T. Emrich, Ph.D. GISP, University of Central Florida

Recent flooding events such as those the 2015 South Carolina floods, the 2016 Louisiana floods, and Hurricane Harvey are some of the latest examples of catastrophic flooding of normally safe and dry areas. During each of these disasters, vast geographic areas saw impacts from rain induced flash flooding not easily captured by models and for which too little had been done to prepare. In the immediate aftermath, lives and livelihoods hung in the balance while local, state, and federal partners scrambled to understand the breath and literal depth of the situation unfolding before their eyes. Lifesaving missions, the immediate response, and the recovery process all require quality flood data for planning and implementation. Unfortunately, in each of these disasters such information was too slow and too course to materialize for lifesaving missions. Filling this need, researchers from the University of South Carolina and the University of Central Florida partnered in creating a quasi-real time flood extent and inundation tool utilizing “citizen sensors” as data providers. Leveraging Twitter alongside tradition stream guage information produced rapid depth grid and flood extent information for decision makers. At the same time, results enabled testing of anecdotal and theoretical problems associated with citizen derived situational awareness data (dis) proving some long standing perceptions around the validity and utility of citizen sensed data.