Flood Interviews

New Jersey - Local Floodplain Management in the US

Flooding is the most common disaster across the United States. Some towns have taken action to limit flood damage by limiting the amount of new development - new homes, businesses, roads, etc. - in floodplains (areas known to be at risk of repeat flooding). Our team wants to understand why some towns have successfully limited new development while others have aggressively built in floodplains.

We are conducting interviews with residents, local government officials, non-government organizations, and other stakeholders to understand how towns are guiding their floodplain development. We are currently conducting interviews in:

  • Aberdeen, New Jersey

  • Lumberton, New Jersey

  • Weehawken, New Jersey

  • Woodbridge, New Jersey

If you live in one of these towns, we'd like to talk to you. What we learn will help improve flood management around the country. Your name will not be published in any products without your express permission. The interview will cover a few standard questions about floods in your community, new development, and your thoughts on local flood management. There will also be time during the interview for you to tell me anything else you think I should know about flood issues in your community.

You can find more details about the entire study at this website and more details about the interviews in the bullets below If you would like to be interviewed, you can register via this contact form or email me at siders@udel.edu.

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Photos of floods and homes being elevated. Photos by federal agencies (USGS, FEMA, NOAA) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION


Aspects of the study you should know about:

  • Procedures: If you choose to participate, you will be asked to answer questions about flood risk and flood management regulations and programs in your town. You are not expected to have expert knowledge. We would like to know your thoughts. This will take approximately 10-30 minutes. Interviews may be conducted in person, over the phone, or by Zoom, depending on your comfort level and COVID procedures.

  • Risks: The main risk is that interview may bring up unpleasant emotions, such as recalling a recent storm or flood or thinking about changes in your neighborhood. We may find that the program in your community has not used best practices. We cannot guarantee confidentiality, but we will take steps to make our interviews anonymous, and you will not be named or directly identified in any way in our publications without your express consent.

  • Benefits: Your town might use the information we find to improve its floodplain management practices and the lessons learned may help towns around the country.

  • Costs: There is no cost to participate.

  • Participation: The decision to participate or not is yours. You can decide to participate and then change your mind at any point.


Contact Information: If you have any questions about the purpose, procedures, or any other issues related to this research study you may contact Dr. A.R. Siders at siders@udel.edu.

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Photos of flood damage and of buyout programs and homes being relocated. Photos by federal agencies (USGS, FEMA, DoD, DHS) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (Blue Acres).

Wisconsin - Community Experiences with Buyouts

Across the United States, communities like yours are addressing flood risk through buyouts – programs in which the government offers to purchase flood-prone homes from willing sellers and then returns the land to open space. I want to understand how buyout programs affect the people who relocate, people who want to relocate, and people who stay.

If you or someone in your neighborhood has sold or thought about selling your home to the government in response to flood risk (whether you decided to move or stay), I’d like to talk to you. I am currently conducting interviews in Kenosha County, Wisconsin.

What I learn will help improve future buyout programs and flood risk management policies in your state and around the country. Your decision to participate or not will not affect your eligibility or treatment in any buyout program decisions. Your name will not be published or shared with anyone outside my research team at the University. The interview will cover a few standard questions about your community, your experience with floods, and how you perceive buyouts as a flood management strategy. There will also be time during the interview for you to tell me anything else you think I should know about flood issues in your community.

You can find more details about the study below. If you would like to be interviewed, you can register via this contact form or email me at sidersadapts@gmail.com.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION


Aspects of the study you should know about:

  • Purpose: The purpose of the project is to understand how buyouts are conducted and how they affect participants, their neighbors, and the community.

  • Procedures: If you choose to participate, you will be asked to answer questions about floods and buyouts occurring in your community.

  • Duration: An interview will take approximately one hour. Some interviews may last longer, depending on your knowledge and willingness to discuss these topics. Interviews may be conducted in person, over the phone, or by Zoom, depending on your comfort level and COVID procedures. I may ask to do a follow-up interview next summer or next year. You are not required to participate in the follow-up.

  • Risks: The main risk is that interview may bring up unpleasant emotions, such as recalling a recent storm or flood or thinking about changes in your neighborhood. We may find that the program in your community has not used best practices in implementing its buyout program. It is also possible that people will learn that you have participated in this study. We cannot guarantee confidentiality, but we will take steps to make our interviews anonymous, and you will not be named or directly identified in any way in our publications without your express written consent.

  • Benefits: This research will inform buyout programs in your community and the country.

  • Costs and Compensation: There is no cost to participate. Residents who participate in the full interview will receive a gift card in thanks. Government officials will be thanked but not compensated, to avoid any concern about receipt of gifts.

  • Participation: The decision to participate or not is yours. You can decide to participate and then change your mind at any point. Your decision to participate or not will not affect your eligibility or treatment in any buyout program decisions. Your decision will be known only by myself and my research team at the University of Delaware.


Contact Information: If you have any questions about the purpose, procedures, or any other issues related to this research study you may contact Dr. A.R. Siders at sidersadapts@gmail.com