3 Background FEMA surveyed the public and local officials for a third time to: Identify changes in flood risk awareness since 2010 Inform national outreach and community engagement FEMA surveyed the public and local officials to: Identify the impact that Risk MAP is having on flood risk awareness and actions Find opportunities to improve flood risk communication and outreach Measure progress toward its goals: Public awareness and understanding of risk management Local official awareness of flood risk within Risk MAP project areas
Public Survey Findings Results of the 2012 Risk MAP Public Survey
5 Public Survey Overview Conducted 1,000 telephone interviews by phone between July 31 – August 14, 2012 25% cell phone users and 75% landline users (new in 2012) 77% homeowners, 23% renters R8: 103 interviews Valid at the National and Regional levels Also allows us to compare awareness in Risk MAP vs. non-Risk MAP areas Objectives, to determine: Current awareness and understanding of flood risk Actions taken to mitigate flood risk How respondents receive and prefer to receive flood risk information Changes in flood risk awareness since 2010
6 Public Survey Findings Flooding isn’t their biggest problem A large majority of respondents (90%) did not believe flooding was the primary hazard their community faced R8: 89% did not believe flooding was the primary hazard their community faced Less people believe their communities are at risk of flooding than last year Decreased from 41% in 2011 to 31% in 2012 R8: Decreased from 60% in 2011 to 22% in 2012 Fewer people believe their home to be at risk than their communities As in 2011, only 12% of respondents believed that their own home was at risk R8: 5% of respondents believed that their own home or apartment was at risk Those living in areas with Risk MAP projects were more likely to believe their home or apartment was at risk of flooding (13.9% vs. 9% in non-Risk MAP project areas).
8 Not many people search for flood risk information One-quarter of people looked for information about their home or apartment’s flood risk Just over 78% stated that the information was very or somewhat easy find R8: somewhat easy (43%), very easy (46%) Those who believed their home was at risk were more likely to say that the information was difficult to find (41.5%) People who searched for flood information were more likely to take mitigation action Interestingly, the belief that one’s community or home was at flood risk was not linked strongly with taking action Moving into a new place prompts flood research People searched for flood risk information when moving into a new home or apartment (35%) or due to a recent flooding event (13%) R8: 36% of the respondents said when they moved into a new home or apartment and 11% said a recent flood.
9 Public Survey Findings (cont.) People want to hear from their mayor and local media about flood risk Thirty-six percent felt that their mayor or local elected official should keep them posted about flood risk, with the local media slightly less R8: mayor or other elected officials (43%) and local media (28%) Twenty-four percent of respondents stated that they heard about their community’s risk of flooding from their local officials at least annually R8: 13% hear from them a least annually 54.6% don’t hear about flooding from them at all, up from 45% in 2011 R8: 43% don’t hear from them at all, up from 22% in 2011 People want flood risk information delivered to them Local news (76%) was by far the preferred information source regarding general flood risk, with mailings a distant second R8: local media (82%), mailings (29%), and emails (24%)
11 Public Survey Findings (cont.) People are confused about flood insurance Almost 31% of households believed that flood damage was covered by their homeowner’s or renter’s policy (up from 19% in 2011) R8: 18% believed damage was covered (2012); 15% (2011) About half of those without flood insurance know that it’s available Only 23% of those respondents said that their insurance agent had talked to them about it R8: 22% talked to insurance agent People primarily take the same steps to reduce flood risk, whether or not they believe they are at risk Other than purchasing flood insurance, there was not a significant difference in taking steps to prevent homes from flooding
12 Public Survey Findings (cont.) Proximity to a hazard does not prompt action Being located near a flood hazard did not make individuals feel that their community was at greater flood risk, but it did make individuals feel that their home was at greater risk. Despite that, they did not act significantly differently than those who were not located near flood hazards in terms of their behaviors to protect their homes against flooding. Those who didn’t take action to reduce flood risk didn’t think there was a risk 81% did not take actions because they did not believe there was a risk R8: 81% did not believe that their home or apartment is at risk 5% mentioned cost as a reason R8: 3% mentioned cost 4% did not know what actions to take R8: 3% did not know what actions to take
Local Official Survey Findings Results of the 2012 Risk MAP Local Official Survey
14 Local Official Survey Overview Valid at the National level Objectives Understand awareness and understanding of local flood risk Identify changes in flood risk awareness and action since 2010 Identify flood prevention or reduction activities undertaken Determine if and how they share flood risk information Understand how FEMA can make it easier to communicate Collected 1,308 responses to online survey, (up 60% from 2011) July 29- August 13, 2012 73% were from rural communities Respondents included mayors (19%), floodplain managers (15%), and city administrator/ managers (14%) among others 72% had tenure of at least 4 years
15 Local Official Survey Findings They know their communities are at risk Nearly 66% of local officials said that their communities were at risk of flooding 70% in areas with Risk MAP projects About one-third (34%) considered flooding to be their community’s primary hazard Those with the most recent flooding were much more likely to characterize their flood risk as high Those in areas with Risk MAP projects were more likely to: Believe they were at high risk of flooding (20%) vs. those in non-Risk MAP project areas (12%) Have taken action to prevent flood risk (75%) vs. those in non-Risk MAP project areas (65%) Communicate about flood risk several times a year (15%) vs. those in non-Risk MAP project areas (10%)
16 Local Official Survey Findings (cont.) They don’t communicate the risks of living near levees or dams Three-fifths (60%) of local officials in communities with levees considered those behind the levee to be at risk Only 36% of those conducted outreach about it Over half (57%) of those near a dam considered those behind or downstream of the dam to be at risk of flooding Only 30% of those conducted outreach about it They get their flood risk information from: Flood maps: 71% Personal experience: 63% FEMA/National Flood Insurance Program: 62% Other local officials: 45%
17 Local Official Survey Findings (cont.) They are using multi-hazard mitigation plans to guide action Half used a multi-hazard mitigation plan, up from 40% in 2011 One-quarter (26%) thought that their community’s mitigation plan contributed significantly to the implementation of mitigation actions in their communities 50% thought it contributed somewhat A variety of officials participated in developing the multi-hazard mitigation plans Emergency managers: 74% Community planning officials: 62% Other local officials: 59% City council or planning commission: 57% Floodplain managers: 50% FEMA: 26%
19 Local Official Survey Findings (cont.) Outreach responsibility varies widely When asked who is responsible for communicating about flood risk to the public, the answers were wide ranging Mayor/CEO: 31% Insurance agent: 31% FEMA: 28% Mortgage lender: 25% Other local official: 55% They communicate about flood risk According to the respondents, only 16% of communities never communicate about flood risk, down from 30% in 2011 If communicating about new flood maps, local officials choose the following methods to communicate the change: Print media: 67% Community website: 63% Community meetings or open houses: 54% Signs: 40%
20 Local Official Survey Findings (cont.) Local officials reduce flood risk or impacts through floodplain management 81% cited floodplain management ordinances 63% zoning 62% enforcement of local or enhanced building codes 61% stormwater management regulations 52% set backs The reasons why officials don’t take action are varied 19% of officials said they hadn’t taken action to reduce flood risk because: Don’t believe they are at risk (57%) Have resource limitations (36%) Are unsure which actions to take (16%)
21 Next Steps Share survey results broadly within FIMA and FEMA to inform decision making Regions FloodSmart Planners Building Sciences Floodplain Management/CRS Dam Safety Levees FIMA Communications Office/External Affairs Identify biggest takeaways for each group and how each will use these findings to inform decisions moving forward Share with external audiences (e.g., Operating Partners, USACE, NOAA)