How to use this tool kit.

This comprehensive toolkit is designed to help local officials, insurance agents, real estate agents, lenders and others understand and explain the impact of, and important issues surrounding, flood map updates. Virtually any community, large or small, that is going through a re-mapping effort can utilize the materials.

The toolkit is divided into sections to reflect the audiences for whom the various pieces are designed: (1) Local/County Officials, (2) Insurance Agents, (3) Real Estate Agents, (4) Lenders and (5) Builders/Developers/Surveyors.

The content of this toolkit was developed through collaboration between public officials from Hillsborough County, Florida, and FEMA and its marketing campaign for the National Flood Insurance Program — called FloodSmart. These groups came together in 2005, when Hillsborough County, Florida, was slated to release new preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) to raise awareness and aid in effective communications around the potentially contentious issue. The partners developed and tested a wide range of outreach materials focused on the effects of map updates on insurance. This toolkit contains customizable templates derived from the final materials that were successfully used in Hillsborough County.

Important Things to Keep in Mind as You Work with Toolkit Materials:
  • The Word-format templates include core messages and information about flood map updates that can be used in most areas of the country.
  • Each template clearly indicates — in highlighted brackets — where individual communities should add their own information and/or statistics.

Note: Depending on where a community is in its mapping lifecycle, minor wording changes may be necessary when using these template materials. However, if a community feels the need to substantially alter the core messages contained in these documents to meet unique communications needs around map changes in their area, they are encouraged to contact and coordinate with their FEMA Regional Office. Finally, all template materials include the "Mapping the Risk" graphic treatment. While this graphic identity can be used "as is," communities using these materials have the flexibility to include their own logos, local designs or county seals to brand the toolkit items.


All communities that wish to include the FEMA logo on their outreach materials must obtain permission in order to do so.