One of the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina and coastal storm events in our own state is that information-sharing methods need to be improved. Rescue and response efforts can easily be hindered by damaged street signs, and destroyed computers and mapping data. Remember that while your community’s response personnel may be able to navigate areas without maps, outside assistance likely won’t have the local knowledge to do so. Copyrighted private-sector maps, aerial photographs, and other data often can’t be easily and legally shared. Consider backing-up important geospatial data in a secure, inland location where it can be retrieved in emergencies, and planning ahead to make sure that critical information is available during events. In addition, communities should have hard-copies of important documents in their emergency operations center in case electrical systems are interrupted.

* Your community needs only 500 points to qualify for reduced flood insurance premiums through the Community Rating System (CRS). For more information (including how to apply for the CRS program), see our Community Rating System (CRS) primer.

Notes from the folks at CRS:

“Credit is available for providing real time river gauge data for sites that affect the community and other flood warning information such as a map of evacuation routes, flood safety precautions, and flood warning procedures. This credit is available under Activity 350 – WEB.”

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