Ninety percent of disasters involve some form of flooding, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). In order to better prepare for these disasters, S&T’s First Responders Group (FRG) is creating a National Flood Decision Support Toolbox (NFDST).
NFDST will serve as a collection of data on flooding and will be available to FRGs, emergency management teams, public works groups, critical infrastructure experts, real estate and insurance agents, home builders, and community residents. This tool kit is one element of S&T’s five-year Flood Apex Program, which links FRGs to those who have data on flooding.
“The Flood Apex Program envisions three phases with each informing and enabling future projects. It will culminate in the development of the NFDST, translating science into actions that reduce risk exposure in high-risk communities,” said FRG Program Manager Denis Gusty in a post on DHS’s website. “When developed, the NFDST will be transitioned to FEMA to assist Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial users in making investment decisions related to floods.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) are contributing to FRG’s flood data tool kit. Because September is National Preparedness Month, S&T has been hosting conversations with emergency response groups to determine what kind of data they need and how to make this data easily accessible.
“We’re working directly with partners who have experience in all aspects of mitigating and responding to flood events,” said FRG Director Daniel Cotter. “We want to learn from those who have dedicated their careers to developing innovative approaches and solutions, and for community practitioners tasked with implementing local solutions.”