The items in this toolkit will give you many of the "raw materials" needed to begin communicating with a variety of different audiences about flood map changes in your area. However, the following tips will help ensure that your overall approach to community outreach is right on target. Keeping these tips in mind while using the toolkit materials will help make the rollout of new maps in your area a smooth — and successful — process.
Start early — these things take time.
Outreach should begin at least 12 months prior to the release of preliminary flood maps to allow you ample time to:
The media will tell the tale — engage them.
Local and regional media outlets will have an interest in this issue and will want to know how map changes will impact the average citizen. You can influence whether they applaud, or critique, the way the process is handled by taking proactive measures before the maps are released like:
Representatives from affected industries can carry your message forward — tap their input and influence.
Representatives of the insurance, real estate, lending and building industries will all be impacted by the changes that new maps bring and are familiar with what messages will resonate with their colleagues. To ensure that they disseminate information to their colleagues and customers:
Key decision makers make key decisions — make sure they're on board.
Local elected officials and county board members will ultimately be responsible for adopting ordinances that will make new flood maps official and effective. Help them communicate key map change messages and foster a better understanding of options available to residents by: