Wondering how you can help flood victims? Contribute to long-term flood resilience in a community near you.

The recent devastation in Texas, Florida, South Asia and other areas has drawn a lot of attention to big questions about climate, development and the risk of future disasters. But if history is any guide, the attention to those questions can ebb as the waters recede.

Volunteer scientists are needed to consult with communities on long-term solutions to floods such as this one in City of De Soto, Missouri

Events like these offer a stark reminder that if we’re going to create more resilient communities, we must be in it for the long haul. Fortunately, there is a growing network of individuals and organizations working to create the long-term solutions needed to prevent and absorb future flooding disasters.    

Flood Forum, USA is one organization doing just that. Launched in April 2017 by Anthropocene Alliance, a Chicago-based nonprofit, Flood Forum helps flood survivors envision and advocate for sustainable solutions to flooding. Historically, flood survivors have not tended to organize in the long term, and the scale of the problem, combined with the intermittent nature of the threat and complicated dynamics of inequality, poverty and politics has made towns and cities loath to make serious investments to reduce flood risk. Flood Forum aims to chart a better way forward by helping people harmed by flooding get organized, heard and supported.

Only a few months old, the organization has already engaged more than 100 groups of flood survivors in 30 states, and has an active Facebook group, SPOUT!, for discussion among members. A newly-launched partnership with TEX will bring in pro-bono hydrologists to provide technical assistance for 10 Flood Forum communities.

Harriet Festing, Director of Flood Forum, USA

“The beauty of this partnership with the AGU is that we are bringing together organized residents, who are willing to demand action from their elected and government officials, with scientists who have the knowledge and expertise to establish a plan of action,” explains Flood Forum USA Director Harriet Festing. “Scientists can listen to residents’ stories and circumstances in relation to flooding, review existing data and literature, meet with agency experts and translate this information into a plan of action.”

Like other TEX projects, the effort is rooted in the conviction that solutions must reflect a true, two-way partnership, with communities and scientists each bringing their unique skills and knowledge to the table.

“Recognizing the expertise of residents and businesses is key to building flood resilience; they provide the on-the-ground knowledge of who is flooding, in what way, at what cost (financial, emotional, physical),” says Festing. “By working alongside scientists, they become powerful advocates for solutions.”

 

Now seeking volunteer hydrologists to work with communities in Missouri, Pennsylvania and Nevada. More locations coming soon; contact us to inquire about opportunities. 

 

A flood group in Midlothian, Ill. expresses their dedication to finding long-term solutions

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