Historic Flood Documentation Project
“Community Flood Notebook”
The Community Flood Notebook summarizes documented research on historic floods. The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) Flood Science Center developed the platform for this project, which was funded by the ASFPM Foundation. The Notebook provides a standardized, comprehensive platform for the public to store and retrieve flood event data, in partnership with local professionals such as floodplain and coastal managers, planners, and emergency managers. The Notebook also allows communities to harness the crowd-sourcing capabilities of mobile devices by engaging the public in the flood documentation process. This gives more people ownership in the process.
The Notebook’ s data can be collected before, during, and after a flood. It may include geolocated photos, hydrographs, precipitation maps, river/tide gauges, videos, high water marks, and more. Web services hosted by NOAA, USGS, FEMA, and other federal and state agencies allow many of their datasets to be automatically integrated into web platforms like the Notebook.
Communities would create a unique “flood event” for each flood that affects them. The proposed business model advocates that state programs, such as the State Floodplain Manager/NFIP Coordinator or State Hazard Mitigation Office, would host the Notebook platform for all the communities in their state, so that communities of all sizes have access. Over time, a collection of events would be archived. These will support the community’s institutional memory, hazard mitigation planning and flood risk communication efforts, to name a few benefits, all aimed at using information on past floods to reduce future flood losses. Local documentation for floods that have regional, state, or national effects could be “rolled up” into a single named event, to help state and federal officials with recovery, mitigation, and resilience planning.
The platform provides an opportunity to share information on past flood events as a means to reduce future losses. The Community Flood Notebook can be found on the ASFPM Flood Science Center website. This project will be featured at the upcoming ASFPM Annual Conference in Session G5: Crowd-Sourcing for Risk Communication, on the morning of Thursday, May 13.