Information for Preparedness Planning

Raising awareness of property owners in the floodplain and other stakeholders on the risks of flooding is of paramount importance. If stakeholders fail to understand the risks to which they are exposed, they are less likely to participate in the planning process and unlikely to take necessary precautions. Flood hazard maps, flood forecasts, and flood preparedness plans (including evacuation plans), form the basic information that should be made available to all stakeholders and the public at large to ensure pre-flood participation.

Information is only useful if it is readily available to those who have the right to have it. Legal provisions should be in place in order to ensure that information about flood risks is made available and is accessible to as large a section of the stakeholders as is practicable. When making legal provisions for the availability of information to the general public, consideration needs to be given to the following:

      • Location: consultation documents must be available in places that are physically accessible to the public to which they are directed. They should be available locally and in a location that is accessible to all, for example in a public library or the office of a local representative body.
      • Intimation: members of the public must be aware that they have a right to respond to consultations and that such consultations are taking place.
      • Form: documentation should be available in the medium and format that is most likely to be accessible to the public. This may include paper form, electronic form, made available on the Internet, for example.

      • Comprehensibility: non-technical summaries should be provided, and documents should be available in the local language, at least in summary form, in addition to the State language, if different.
      • Time: consultation documents should be accessible to all at reasonable hours. The time allowed for consultation responses should also be sufficient.
      • Cost: no fee should be charged for access to documentation, although reasonable administrative fees may be charged when requests are made for copies of the relevant papers or their electronic counterparts.

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