• Governer Partner :City of Norfolk
  • Department :Department of City Planning
  • Category :Communications, Data Analytics, Resident Engagement

Project Summary

Flood data analytics and decision support tool for residents.

Challenge Details

How might we reduce financial risk to a residents due to flooding so that the we are more successful delivering fact-based information to residents and enabling them to make informed decisions to protect their property?

We seek to create a platform that will help provide flooding data and information to citizens in a fashion that will inform the citizen in a way they can understand. This includes visuals of what anticipated flooding would be on their property. Using available City data to find rough elevations around a residence as well as photos or graphics to show where flood levels would be based on the FEMA flood elevation and how high the water would be on their residence or property. Part of this should also be a way to encourage property owners and renters to obtain flood insurance utilizing factual data, potentially from city data to allow the information to be “closer to home”. Using this information can also inform other stormwater management a property owner can install on their property to better infiltrate water into the ground.

What is your department responsible for in relation to this challenge?
The Department of City Planning interacts with the public on a daily basis informing citizens of what flood zone their property is located in and what the potential flood risk is on their property. Data that can be clearly relayed to citizens can help to provide clearer information to the public and help to increase citizen awareness.
What is the current state of your process?

Explaining flood potential is a very intensive customer service the Department of City Planning provides. Conversations are done on a site by site basis and takes up to 20 – 30 minutes to discuss explain to the public. Information that can be site specific using the data the city currently has and providing it to the citizen before hand can help to inform the public better and to provide a more specific conversation if the citizen has done their research first utilizing what is available to them provided from the city.

What pain points do your staff and/or residents experience?

Our residents
Providing this information is very time intensive. Many times the 20 – 30 minute conversation is not enough to explain to the information. A follow up meeting may be needed with more information. While working with other citizens, some members of the public may just want to know if they are required to have flood insurance on federally backed mortgages for a specific property. If this initial information can be provided online to the public, this would allow for those that would want to learn how to retrofit their properties to set meetings with staff to discuss.

City Staff
Staff spends a great deal of time explaining flood potential and flood insurance rate maps to citizens without the ability to focus on trying to encourage the public to buy flood insurance to protect their properties. Staff would be able to utilize a simplified and public friendly information source to help explain to citizens how they can better protect their property.

Citizens know if a residence is required to have flood insurance.
Citizens can understand the flood potential of property and obtain a visual of what it would look like on the property.
Citizens will be able to see appropriate stormwater management tools they can install on their property based on the flood potential and elevation of the ground.