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Association of State Flood Plain Managers


Outreach Library

NOTE: Disclaimer!

The Association of State Floodplain Managers maintains this library for the convenience of its members and the public. The publications and presentations contained therein are the works of independent authors. ASFPM does not and cannot accept responsibility for the contents of these presentations, in any manner shape or form, including, but not limited to their correctness, currency, or appropriateness. Floodplain Management rules and regulations are substantially influenced by the quirks of State and local laws and ordinances, as well as ever changing Federal law, regulation and policy as well as court decisions. Use these presentations for ideas and concepts, responsibility for content is your own.

Outreach Resources

3D Flood Simulation Model

Background: Mark Walton of the Michigan Stormwater Floodplain Association and David Chapman a High School Science Teacher in Michigan, led the development of a hands-on floodplain management simulation model and associated exercises suitable for students in the 5th grade and above. This model has since been commercially produced by WARD-a maker of scientific equipment and models for education-10% of profits go to scholarships for students who study floodplain management (managed by the Michigan Chapter of ASFPM).

The model is a heavy duty, hands-on simulator for educational outreach that brings home many key concepts in floodplain management to target audiences of all ages. It utilizes interchangeable headwater scenarios and accessories so users see the impact of development in the floodplain as never before.

Ward's 3D Flood Simulation Model

  • Cost: $1400 approximately w/shipping* (Ward's 3D Model)
  • Dimensions: 46"L x 151⁄2"W x 9"D (Ward's 3D Model)
  • Includes: support materials, lesson plans, instructor/presenter guide (Ward's 3D Model)

*Chapters who have bought a model have strongly recommended purchasing or building a model case with wheels for transport.

Click here to order a 3D Model from Ward's Natural Science. Other 3D educational models exist – EnviroScape makes Stormwater, Coastal, Wetland, & Nonpoint Source models. Project WET programs have been known to use EnviroScapes models.
Check out the cool use of a stream table in, "Lego Steve & the Stream Table" on YouTube from Department of Geological Sciences at Brigham Young University.

3D Model Resources

Flood Risk Education In Our Local Schools Campaign using 3D Flood Simulator Model

Outreach Process Partners (OPP) has created the "Flood Risk Education in Our Local Schools" outreach campaign to get educational programming about flood risk out to schools recently impacted by flooding using the 3D Flood Model. The campaign has developed a Facebook page with map (and Google map) showing locations of 3D flood models across the country, a Twitter feed and hashtag #floodrisk, and a YouTube channel related to this campaign. Each program year, OPP offers ASFPM Chapters the opportunity to apply for an OPP-sponsored 3D model and case. Applications are distributed in May each program year and due to ASFPM for consideration by June 30th. Click here to view the application and program criteria for the 2011-2012 program year.

If your state, chapter, office, or other entity owns a 3D Model and would like to be shown on the Facebook and Google maps so interested schools can contact you, please email your information to Darin Tambascio and ask to be included on the map. Campaign materials can be found on the campaign webpage and are available for free to anyone doing outreach. You are encouraged to participate in the discussion on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Please remember to get waivers from parents/guardians before posting photos of kids participating in an outreach event on social media. J

If you have outreach materials, YouTube videos, links or other materials on flood risk to share with others doing outreach in schools, please post on Facebook, Twitter using the program hashtag #floodrisk and send to Darin Tambascio to include on YouTube and the campaign webpage

Citizen / General Public Outreach Materials

   Citizen's Guide to Flood Protection Mississippi Emergency Management Agency

Ever Wondered Where the Rain Goes? susdrain

Disaster Preparedness

"Disaster" and "Preparedness" - Kansas City Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee

Meet "Disaster" and "Preparedness" -- two characters who will help you understand why you need to take personal responsibility to prepare yourself and your family for potential emergencies. Produced by the Metropolitan Emergency Managers Committee with funding support from the Kansas City Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee's Urban Area Security Initiative grant.

Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse - Centers for Disease Control

Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Prepared Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Prepared

Walking Dead fans, check out our latest post:

There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That's right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you'll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you'll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.

Never Fear – CDC is Ready If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It's likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas (I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work).

To learn more about what CDC does to prepare for and respond to emergencies of all kinds, visit:

To learn more about how you can prepare for and stay safe during an emergency visit:

Teach Kids to Cope with Severe Weather
Help Kids CopeDeveloped by the Ozark Center in cooperation with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the Missouri Foundation for Health, Help Kids Cope, an app by the University of California-Los Angeles, provides age-appropriate communication prompts for parents and guardians to talk with their children about the natural disasters they may face, from earthquakes and extreme heat to floods, landslides, and windstorms, among others. The app helps parents and guardians know how best to support their children throughout a disaster—whether sheltering-in-place or evacuating to a designated shelter—and how to help the family to heal after reuniting. The app is currently available for free download to Apple devices in the app store.

FEMA's Levee Information for Stakeholders

Mitigation Best Practices FEMA

FEMA has put together several outreach documents geared towards several different audiences regarding levees, Provisionally Accredited Levees, and related topics. To view and download these resources, please see

Flood Insurance

Flood Media Kits / Education

Flood Safety for Driver's Education & Exams

The September 2009 Insider ran an article about including flood safety as a component of driver's education courses, and as a question on the driver's exam. Here are some resources referenced:

Driver's Ed & Exam Question The Insider Sept. 2009

Letter sent to Dept. of Public Safety (about driver's exam question)

Floodplain Facts

A series of floodplain management fact sheets was prepared by Janet Thigpen, CFM, Flood Mitigation Specialist, Southern Tier Central Regional Planning & Development Board in Corning, NY. These 1-page information sheets can be used when developers or others request information about floodplain management rules and regulations (in non-coastal areas). Please note that New York State requires two feet of freeboard and that the documents may need to be edited to apply to other jurisdictions. In order to facilitate editing, these documents are in Microsoft Word format and the language that may warrant revision has been highlighted. Janet asks that any revisions retain the 1-page format (both sides) and the credit, "Prepared by Southern Tier Central Regional Planning and Development Board."

NOTE: These are provided as examples for reference only. Please verify that these documents conform to your state and local regulations / restrictions before you use them.

Floodplain Management Videos

The Floodplain Management & Dam Safety Program of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources partnered with Iowa State University Extension & Outreach to create a set of videos about floodplain management. One set of videos has been scrubbed of Iowa specific content so that it will be appropriate for any state. Links to the videos are below.

Videos cover topics of introduction to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP, Understanding Flooding, Floodplain Mapping, Floodplain Regulation, and Flood Insurance). Topics are broken up into short videos; most are about 5 minutes, and can be easily watched as you have time.

There are 20 short videos. Each has excellent information that is well presented. The videos are an excellent way for people to learn about floodplain management without leaving their home or office. Some videos on flood mapping may be good to use for a community getting a new flood map. Video 20, about the Community Rating System would be a good video to link on a community website when they’ve applied for CRS.

The videos discuss the basic requirements for floodplain management that apply anywhere, but some states and communities may require higher standards than the NFIP so viewers are encouraged to consult their local ordinance and their State Floodplain Manager (NFIP Coordinator).

These videos would be ideal for broadcasting on your local public access channel during National Flood Safety Awareness Week, which is recognized every year in March.  Anyone interested in accessing copies of the videos for broadcast can contact Gary Taylor, With ISU Extension and Outreach at

The universally-usable videos:
Iowa-specific videos:

Kindergarten -12th Grade Resources

Mitigation Success Stories

Poster, Calendar, & Art Contests

Risk MAP - Risk Communication

Risk Communications Guidebook for Local Officials

Each year the United States sustains natural and man-made disasters that cost hundreds of lives and average billions of dollars in losses. These disasters are caused by floods, wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes, landslides, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural events, as well as intentional and unintentional man-made hazard events. These circumstances require the attention of government at all levels, the private sector, and individuals, to take steps to decrease hazard risks.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) understands that government at all levels is being asked to do more without additional manpower or funding resources. In an effort to assist community officials in building a support base for hazard mitigation, sustainability and resiliency discussions within their communities, FEMA Region 6 developed the Risk Communication Guidebook and Toolkit to assist local officials in their natural hazard education and risk communication efforts. This Guidebook is available at

The Guidebook identifies opportunities for a continual discussion of natural hazard risk and is broken into sections, which mimic the flood hazard update process in order to illustrate a consistent and increasing effort towards communication of flood risk. The information is presented as follows:
  • Overview – A description and purpose of each project phase, the need for outreach, and typical activities performed by FEMA, and identification of actions that may be taken by local government entities.
  • Phase Activities – Information is provided about FEMA's procedures and standing education and outreach efforts available to communities.
  • Outreach Activities – Information and outreach activities performed by FEMA, as well as suggested activities that could be performed by the local government
  • Suggested Outreach Materials – Templates and sample materials can be customized by local government entities. Generic language is included, but other elements such as timelines, contact information, logos, etc., are intended to be added by each county or community as appropriate.
The intent of this Guidebook is that it will be maintained electronically and adapted based on feedback from communities. Other outreach materials, resources and links are available for local officials on the Resources and Related Links tab of Contact Diane Howe at for more information on the Guidebook.

Watershed Planning / Education & Outreach

EPA Urban Waters Outreach Toolkit

The Anacostia Watershed Outreach and Education Project recently completed a comprehensive toolkit to help EPA Regions, watershed organizations, and others who promote green business develop programs to encourage local residents, particularly homeowners, to take one specific action - install rain barrels to prevent contamination in their local rivers.

The toolkit includes details on the development of the social marketing approach, thoughts on how to reach local residents, lessons learned, and a summary of Project accomplishments. Appendices include communication scripts for weathercasters, a detailed list of Project partners, partnerships, and photos and screenshots of the messages placed in the Washington, DC region, and in the EPA's Office of Water and its Region 3 office in Philadelphia. Click here for more information.

This page was last updated on December 3, 2015. Updates for this page can be submitted to Kait Laufenberg.

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