During a flood, residents and business owners are overwhelmed with pressing needs, making information flow a vital necessity. Community officials’ responsibilities escalate as they must notify its residents of shelters, keep people informed of upcoming weather patterns, and ensure that everyone has the best resources available to make informed and safe decisions. However, information flow is also critical before a flood and after it occurs. Preparation and knowledge are keys to being well-prepared for a potential flood; also, if affected by high water, community members will need to know who to contact to begin to repair and rebuild.
In an effort to make it easier for Pennsylvanians to get vital information and keep Informed before, during, and after a flood, the state Silver Jackets team created a flood risk management website, which was launched in February, 2013.The website is divided into three categories: general information/before the flood, during the flood, and after the flood. Each section is divided into the most frequently asked questions regarding floods and provides a variety of tools and resources. Information includes links to gage data, weather patterns, emergency management contact numbers, family preparedness plans, and flood insurance information. It also addresses short-term and long-term recovery concerns, possible funding, and necessary permits.
The Pennsylvania Silver Jackets team will promote the website through various partnering organizations, as well as encourage feedback to improve the site and generate new content. The goal is to have flood information readily available and extensively used by residents throughout the state.
The website is the result of a collaborative effort to compile a comprehensive list of resources under one umbrella by over a dozen Silver Jackets member agencies.