Water district picks up national award for flood safety mailer

On Thursday, July 12, the Santa Clara Valley Water District received a first-place award for Excellence in Communications, awarded by the National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies (NAFSMA). Under the category of individual item, the water district’s annual floodplain mailer was recognized as an exemplary communication piece for flood awareness.

Following a winter of record-setting rainfall which resulted in historic flooding along Coyote Creek and impacted various neighborhoods in San José, the water district decided to spruce up the annual floodplain mailer and increase accessibility of this important publication in a variety of ways. The 2017-18 mailer was designed as a magazine-style brochure, available in four languages (English, Chinese, Vietnamese and Spanish) with content highlights and a language directory on the cover.


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The annual floodplain mailer is an educational brochure mailed to all homes and businesses located in FEMA Special Flood Hazard Areas, or high-risk flood zones. For nearly 20 years, this item has been a key component of the district’s annual flood awareness campaign. As a participant of FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS), the district’s communication outreach efforts help reduce flood insurance premiums for participating municipalities. Our flood risk reduction efforts, including projects and targeted outreach, earn CRS points which help reduce flood insurance premiums for residents.

“Communication and outreach is essential to our flood protection efforts,” said water district Board Chair Richard P. Santos.  “We work hard to make sure the folks who need this information the most, receive it in the best format.”

The revamped publication was driven by community research and a process overhaul. In the almost two decades of its existence, the annual floodplain mailer was evaluated for the first time in fall of 2017 by a series of focus groups in preparation for the 2017-18 flood awareness campaign. Included in the publication is extensive information about flood risks, flood insurance, preserving creeks, flood safety tips and resources.

“We’re always looking to improve. Feedback from the community is always valuable and an award like this acknowledges our progress,” said Santos.

To see a copy of the award-winning floodplain mailer and the district’s campaign resources, visit http://bit.ly/SCVWDfloodready.


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