The AAFM was formed by professional members of the “floodplain management community”, interested citizens and representatives of groups or organizations interested in or affected by floodplains. The group realized that most often the public is aware of and concerned only about post disaster effects of a flood or hurricane and is generally unaware that floodplain management,correctly applied and maintained, can reduce, mitigate and in some cases prevent the human suffering and property damage resulting from these disasters. This group was interested in creating a non-governmental entity to serve as the lead organization in Alabama to increase and improve education and training opportunities for the floodplain management community and the public and to design and implement strategies to increase public awareness and knowledge of floodplains.
An organizational meeting was held in Montgomery, Alabama, on January 24, 2008, with 38 people attending. The group made several important decisions: 1) to proceed with forming the organization,2) to name the organization the Alabama Association of Floodplain Managers, 3) to incorporate in the State of Alabama, 4) to consult an attorney and file for tax exempt status with the IRS, 5) to approve draft by-laws (the desire of the group was to create a broad-based organization available to all citizens interested or involved in or affected by floodplain management and insisted that membership classes in the by-laws reflect those concerns) and 6) to elect officers and Directors.
The Board of Directors met immediately and took the following action: 1) instructed the president to contact an attorney to review the draft by-laws to assure they were sufficient to incorporate and qualify for tax exempt status, 2) began planning a membership recruitment campaign, 3) appointed a membership committee and 4) appointed a committee to plan the first conference and membership meeting in the fall of 2008.
The first conference and membership meeting was held October 20-22, 2008 in Auburn, Alabama attended by over 100 people. The primary focus of the conference was education of attendees whether members or non-members. Presentations covered a wide range of topics of interest to the general public, community development groups, environmental protection groups, local floodplain administrators, certified floodplain managers and professionals in the floodplain management community.
The first membership meeting held October 22, 2008, was well attended. The agenda included adoption of the by-laws, election of officers and directors, a financial report, future directions of AAFM, a general discussion of the conference format and the type of meetings and educational sessions the membership would prefer. The membership approved holding two statewide educational sessions each year, fall and spring with the fall meeting being a 2 1/2-day conference format meeting including the AAFM annual meeting. The spring meeting could be similar to the fall meeting without the annual meeting or a one-seminar depending on the subject matter needing to be addressed.