On May 18, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) launched the Flood Resilience dialogue as part of our Flood Apex Program. This dialogue is part of the National Conversation on Homeland Security Technology, a forum started by S&T to share what we’re working on and to hear your stories. In just seven days, the flood conversation has flourished with more than 28 posts ranging from personal, firsthand experiences, to the general importance of emerging technologies that can protect us from the most common natural disaster.
Most compelling are the stories about rising floodwaters in towns, neighborhoods, and homes. One community member recalls the sound of air escaping from under the floor, while another contributor discussed the risks and experience of driving to school during hurricane season in Florida. Shifting the conversation to solutions, members gave tips and advice on how to make homes more flood resilient and the various modeling tools available to better equip communities. These are important conversations to have, because not only do they help S&T as an organization, but they also help others in communities nationwide.
With all of the input, S&T will develop a National Flood Decision Support Toolbox to help all members of the community. That’s why we want to hear from people who know what it’s like after the storm, people who really understand. Subject matter experts or individuals affected by flooding are our best source for understanding the complexity of disasters like floods.
We are pleased with the progress of the conversation, but this is just the beginning. We are looking for answers to a variety of tough questions, like where do individuals go for information about flood risk? What influences perceptions of alerts and warnings and reactions to these notifications? Would you rebuild after a flood? What expectations does the public have of their community, state and federal resources?
By talking to us, we can learn from you. You can tell us how to provide better technology to prepare, respond and be resilient to flooding in the future. In addition to being a part of the ongoing dialogue, I’m inviting everyone to participate in the National Conversation Flood Resilience Webinar on June 23. Create a user account today at http://scitech.ideascale.com/ to receive information about the upcoming webinar.
I encourage you to share this information with your family and friends, and invite them to join the conversation! For those who have already contributed, thank you for sharing your stories and ideas. I look forward to reading more as the conversation continues.