Escambia Scorecard Explained

12 Common Sense Tests For Flood Readiness

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Have a good flood protection plan

Test 1 | Are your maps complete?

Flood maps are hard to read and don't show true flood risk. The county's property lookup tool allows users to look up their flood zone but doesn't interpret what it means

Test 2 | Do you prioritize the worst areas?

Escambia County is notifying owners of repeatedly flooding properties but doesn't have a plan to address their risk

Test 3 | Is your plan specific?

FD was able to find a clear, specific Stormwater Management Plan. However, Escambia hasn't identified clear funding sources and is years behind schedule


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Don't let new development make flooding worse

Test 4 | Do you make sure new development doesn’t cause new problems?

Escambia requires that large developments take steps not to exacerbate runoff, but doesn't sufficiently enforce these requirements

Test 5 | Do you avoid putting critical facilities in risky places?

Escambia lacks specific regulations to protect critical services or especially vulnerable areas

Test 6 | Are you proactively reaching out to the community?

FD was unable to find evidence of meaningful outreach on flood protection to citizens, and the county isn't consistently updating residents on progress

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Make smart investments

Test 7 | Do you have a buyout program?

Escambia has the largest loss on repeatedly flooded properties in Florida. While Escambia County has bought out homes in the past, the county's buyout efforts are underfunded and insufficient

Test 8 | Have you protected the most important areas?

FD was unable to identify a program aimed at protecting critical services from flooding

Test 9 | Do you have sufficient funding?

Escambia County's stormwater management and flood protection projects are hugely underfunded - only 8% of projects planned by the county in 2014 have been funded

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Maintain and repair stormwater drainage

Test 10 | Do you know where your drainage is?

Escambia County doesn't have a public map of drainage and flood protection or status of drainage and flood protection systems

Test 11 | Is your drainage well-maintained?

Escambia's stormwater maintenance staff is chronically understaffed, letting maintenance issues linger for too long

Test 12 | Can citizens report issues?

FD was able to find a public portal with easily accessible survey to report flooding and drainage issues

How we grade each county on their flood readiness

Flood Defenders grades each county against its 12 Common Sense Tests for Flood Readiness. These tests cover the big things counties and cities need to do to protect citizens from flooding: Plan, Protect, Invest, and Repair.

A good plan is the foundation of a county’s flood-readiness. It needs to clearly explain the risks to people and property by including accurate flood maps and information, show where the problem is most significant and how they can be addressed, and provide a specific plan of action with concrete next steps.

Test 1 | Are your maps complete?

Are flood maps easy to access, up-to-date, and accurate?

Do they account for flooding not just from storm surge, but also river overflows and rainstorms?

Do they account for flood protection measures the county has invested in?

Test 2 | Do you prioritize the worst areas?

Does the county have a clear understanding of which communities are most at risk of flooding?

Do they have a plan to improve their situation?

Test 3 | Is your plan specific?

Does the county’s plan clearly outline what projects it will tackle, how they’ll be funded, and when they’ll be completed?

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Share the Scorecard 

Your community needs to know that Escambia County didn't pass the test when it comes to flood readiness. Spread the news on social media or send it directly to your County Commissioner here.


It's time to take action in Escambia County