We are very grateful to those citizens and subject matter experts who have agreed to be interviewed for this project. Like any other hazard come to life, every flood event provides a learning opportunity. And it is only through a process of critical review and adjustment that we can hope to improve our preparation for and response to floods.
As it stands today, there is little public knowledge of flood risk: where floods are likely to occur, flood insurance issues, and what to do to prevent and prepare for floods. If we are to really address the problems that flash floods represent to an ever-urbanizing society, we must move beyond agency brochures and let real events and real people inform a dialogue and actions that reduce risks to life and property.
To be sure, it is easy to merely criticize the actions of the past with the benefit of hindsight. The New Braunfels area of Central Texas is intended as an illuminating case study area, with its recent repetition of dramatic flood events and the rich flood history of the beautiful Guadalupe River. But this area is just one case study -- representative of countless other areas. (The neighboring Texas' Colorado River watershed has even more people in harm's way and greater pressures to continue that worrisome trend.) Many other states face similar challenges from both monsoonal rains and the random drought buster.
Please keep in mind that we seek not to point out the failings of any one area, entity, or individual but instead to address the complex issues of how flood risk is perceived and responded to, a critical review of the social patterns that have evolved after floods, and what steps we can take to move us into more symbiotic, rather than tragic, relationships with natural hazards.
Marshall Frech, Producer
The Flood Safety Education Project