The PPI was introduced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a new planning tool to provide a step-by-step coordinated approach to flood hazard outreach, which Pinellas County followed in developing the Pinellas County Program for Public Information (PPI).
The County’s purpose in developing this plan is to improve communication with citizens, and to provide information about flood hazards, flood safety, flood insurance, and ways to protect property and natural floodplain functions to those who can benefit from it. Although this information is being effectively shared throughout the County, this program will better coordinate messages and materials, standardize the information being shared, and make it more accessible to County staff as well as the other local governments and agencies within the County. Additionally, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) credits the implementation of public outreach projects and initiatives identified in a PPI.
The PPI is reviewed annually and updated every five years. A countywide public information working group, the Pinellas County Flood Risk and Mitigation Public Information Working Group (FRMPIWG) met three times in 2019 to develop a multijurisdictional PPI and provide input related to flood risk and mitigation to the Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) Working Group for the LMS update, which serves as the County's Floodplain Management Plan. Thereafter, the FRMPIWG will meet up to three times per year to review PPI and LMS flood mitigation projects, evaluate project and plan implementation, and develop annual reports.
Pinellas County Flood Risk and Mitigation Public Information Working Group (FRMPIWG)
The FRMPIWG provides a unique opportunity to coordinate and improve consistency in messaging countywide and avoid duplication of efforts among the various initiatives to reduce flood risk and damage. This working group meets the basic CRS PPI plan requirements, and also serves to evaluate flood insurance coverage, floodplain mitigation strategies, flood warning and response, and provides input to the multi-jurisdictional LMS Working Group. This multi-jurisdictional committee has members from both inside and outside the local government agencies. Unincorporated and municipal staff cover a variety of roles, maximizing the exposure and coordination among various department functions. The types of roles represented include Floodplain Management, Public Works, Marketing and Communications, Environmental Management, Planning and Development Services, and Department of Emergency Management. Many of these departments have designated Public Information Officers (PIOs). Community staff work together with active members of the community, including but not limited to representatives of the insurance, real-estate, mortgage-lending industries, neighborhood associations, and Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC), to develop and implement this plan.
Flood Risk and Mitigation Public Information Working Group (FRMPIWG) Meeting Information and Documents: