Following is a list of some agencies, organizations, and programs that provide information on flooding, erosion, and other coastal hazards. Much of it is written for a general audience and can be used to help municipal officials, residents, and visitors better understand their risks.
Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium’s Coastal Storms page has information on a number of topics that may be of interest to your citizens (and links to even more).
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
FEMA has many materials designed to help prepare the general public for hazard events. Though some pages may be dated or less applicable for Mississippi residents, it is a good starting point for seeking general hazard information.
- See FEMA’s Plan Ahead page.
- FEMA has created both a detailed (173-page) guide and a pamphlet outlining various methods for protecting homes from floods. The full-length guide includes sources for additional information and potential sources of funding. Both versions of A Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting: Six Ways to Protect Your House from Flooding are available on the FEMA website.
- Home Builder’s Guide to Coastal Construction includes 31 concise fact sheets with very useful information.
- The Coastal Construction Manual provides a wealth of information. Possible starting points include Section 2.2 (an overview of natural hazards) and Section 2.3 (an overview of lessons learned from past storms). To obtain a free copy of the Coastal Construction Manual (in print or on a CD), contact the FEMA Publications Distribution Facility at (800) 480-2520.
- Summary Report on Building Performance: 2004 Hurricane Season (PDF, 938KB).
- FloodSmart.gov explains the National Flood Insurance Program.
Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM)
ASFPM is an organization of professionals involved in floodplain management, flood hazard mitigation, the National Flood Insurance Program, and flood preparedness, warning, and recovery. ASFPM has become a respected voice in floodplain management practice and policy in the United States because it represents the flood hazard specialists of local, state, and federal government; the research community; the insurance industry; and the fields of engineering, hydrologic forecasting, emergency response, water resources, and others. Their expansive Coastal No Adverse Impact Handbook contains a great deal of useful information. Find it, and many other materials covering political, legal, and technical challenges of floodplain management on the ASFPM website.
Grand Bay Coastal Training Program (CTP)
CTP provides support, training, and information to communities so they can better manage the coastal resources so vital to their economies and way of life. The program gives decision makers information, tools, and skills to improve decisions that affect the health of the state’s coastal areas. See the Grand Bay CTP website for details.
The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)
The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes – FLASH, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting disaster safety and property loss mitigation. Their extensive site covers much more than coastal weather and climate hazards, but does include relevant sections on floods, hurricanes, and tsunamis.
Institute for Business Home Safety
The Institute for Business Home Safety is an organization of insurers working to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other property losses by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance, and preparation practices. Their website has a number of useful outreach resources.
- The Fortified for Safer Living program provides specific information on ways that builders and contractors can build safer buildings and improve their market position.
- Their Open for Business program aims to help businesses plan and prepare for natural disasters.
Other Organizations with Outreach and Education Resources
Many other government and non-government organizations have educational material on floodplains and coastal hazards, including:
- Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission
- The NOAA Coastal Services Center
- EPA Gulf of Mexico Program
- The Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
- EPA’s Watershed Planning program
- The Environmental Compliance Assistance Program
- The Harrison County Beach Authority
- Hurricanes: Science and Society
Selected Outreach Materials from Other Organizations
- “Introduction to Storm Surge” from the National Hurricane Center (PDF)
* 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:
“Several agencies, organizations, and programs provide information on flooding, erosion, and other coastal hazards. Communities that make this information available to the general public through the local library can receive credit under Activity 350, Flood Protection Information.”