The Association of State Floodplain Managers will convene the world's largest and most comprehensive floodplain management conference – our 39th annual gathering – the of week May 31 – June 5, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. We invite you to share your experiences with local, state, regional, tribal and federal officials, industry leaders, consultants, a wide variety of subject matter experts from a vast diversity of fields, and other interested parties by giving a presentation relevant to our theme, "Mitigation on my Mind".
Our theme for the 2015 conference is a focus on mitigation. FEMA defines "Mitigation" as the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Mitigation is taking action now—before the next disaster—to reduce human and financial consequences later (analyzing risk, reducing risk, insuring against risk). Effective mitigation requires that we all understand local risks, address the hard choices, and invest in long-term community well-being. Without mitigation actions, we jeopardize our safety, financial security, and self-reliance.
With 59,489 square miles, Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River and encompasses a range of geography and topography "from the mountains to the sea" – from the highest point in Georgia located at Brasstown Bald at elevation 4784 feet above sea level to sea level itself at the Atlantic Ocean. In all, Georgia has five regions: the Appalachian Mountains, Blue Ridge (about 5% of the state), the Ridge and Valley, the Piedmont Plateau (covering about 30% of Georgia), and the Coastal Plain (about 50% of Georgia's land mass).
Georgia is primarily, except for the mountainous areas, a humid subtropical climate with mostly moderate weather during all four seasons, but with a propensity to extremes of both hot (record 112 degrees) and cold (record -17 degrees), and dry (prolonged and extreme drought) and wet (floods of every description and intensity) coupled with a high incidence of tornadic activity. While the state, with its "deeply inset curved coastline" and it protection of the Gulf Stream well offshore has a hurricane risk, "Georgia has only taken a direct hit from the Atlantic hurricanes eleven times in the past 200+ years". However, Georgia does have its fair share of tropical storms courtesy of their Atlantic neighbor to the south and their Gulf neighbors to the Southwest.
Georgia boasts 159 counties and 500 cities and is made up of 8 million acres of farmland, and around 35,693 acres (about 60% of the overall land mass) of pine forests. Making their march to the sea is 70,150 linear miles of streams and rivers, dotted along the way by 425,000 acres of lakes and approximately 4,500,000 acres of freshwater wetlands.
Georgia has 13 barrier islands off of its six coastal counties "separated by relatively deep tidal inlets, or sounds. Extensive sand shoal systems are present seaward of the inlets and central portions of the island. Eight major islands and island groups comprise the 100 miles of coast between the Savannah and St. Marys rivers."
From lazy river towns set among live oaks, the pristine barrier islands, and the history and sophistication of Savannah amid Spanish moss and antebellum lifestyles, or the splendor and grandeur of mountain homes and scenic vistas, to the hustle and bustle pace of downtown Atlanta, there's really no other place in the nation quite as special as the "Peach State". Not only will you have "Mitigation on your Mind" when you leave the 2015 Conference, but you will also, forever, have "Georgia on your mind"!
The conference is conducted by the Association of State Floodplain Managers, the world's leading voice for sound floodplain management, with 35 Chapters and over 15,000 members world-wide.