Reducing Flooding Hazards through Citizen Engagement


  • Different public participation and outreach methods used when discussing flooding issues and citizen responsibilities

  • Different types of methods to use dependent on the scale of the audience, when trying to educate the public to better understand flood hazard mitigation

  • The importance of changing the mindset away from large structural mitigation measures that are costly for many communities, and may not offer full protection when there is an increased viability of severe natural hazards


There is a growing national effort to educate the public on flood hazard mitigation. The shift in mindset comes from severe loss and damages that have occurred due to the increased viability of natural hazards and disasters.  It is no longer a feasible option to just rely on large costly structural mitigation projects that need constant operation and maintenance. It has become too costly for many communities, and the projects may not offer full protection.  Citizens need to be engaged in the process and learn what their role is in helping to reduce losses from flooding.  Terri Turner, AICP, CFM, Stephen Villavaso, FAICP, J.D., and Theresa Pinto AICP, CFM, PMP discuss their experiences and some specific projects where the main goal of the public participation and outreach was to sensitize and educating citizens on flood hazard mitigation.