Program for Public Information
CAMDEN COUNTY & CITY OF ST. MARYS
JOINT STEERING COMMITTEE
National Flood Insurance Program
Community Rating System
What exactly is the Program for Public Information?
Camden County and the City of St. Marys are launching the initial Program for Public Information (PPI) as a joint venture of the two governments to provide a coordinated and comprehensive approach to community outreach and awareness on flood hazards and mitigation. Both communities are members of the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System (CRS), which awards communities ratings based on their preparedness for flooding events. The Lower the rating (from 10-1) the more prepared the community, and thus, the lower the flood insurance policies for area residents. One of the way communities can gain ‘points’ towards lower their CRS rating is in public awareness and a large component is getting the communities involved.
The CRS PPI is a local community driven initiative that has yet to be enacted by any Georgia Coastal community and yet, has proven nationwide, to be one of the most effective means of raising awareness. In fact, recent research has shown that the more often a message is received from different sources, the more likely it is that the desired action or behavior will take place. For this reason, the CRS encourages engagement of groups and people outside the local government in planning and conducting outreach projects.
Accordingly, at least one-half of the members of the PPI committee must be representatives from outside the local government, i.e., stakeholders. These could be members of the public, representatives of key community organizations, and/or agencies and organizations that will likely implement the recommended outreach projects. Example stakeholder participants include:
Floodplain resident(s), representatives of neighborhood or homeowner associations;
Emergency/disaster responders, e.g., Red Cross, Salvation Army;
Utility companies (they are concerned about service and safety during disasters and many have their own newsletters or outreach programs);
Chamber of commerce or other business organization;
Trade associations of builders and/or contractors;
Developers/real estate organizations;
Environmental organizations, “Friends of the River,” etc.;
Insurance agencies and lenders (required for Activity 370 credit);
Major employer(s); and
Other government agencies outside the community, e.g., school district, levee or flood control district, regional planning agency, state coastal management office, National Weather Service.
The PPI members will serve as key voices for shaping the City’s outreach and providing local knowledge on the best avenues of reaching key sectors of the population. This volunteer opportunity will elevate awareness and build resilience in a time of economic and ecologic change.