FEMA Announces National Risk Index

Online mapping application for local government hazard mitigation planning

Nov 17, 2020 | ARTICLE
FEMA National Risk Index

FEMA announced the Phase 1 rollout of the National Risk Index, a new online resource that helps illustrate communities most at risk from natural hazards.

This online mapping application analyzes risk factors from 18 natural hazards. Additionally, to provide a holistic view of community risk, the application includes expected annual losses, social vulnerability, and community resilience layers.

The interactive mapping tool can help communities, especially those with limited flood mapping and risk assessment capabilities, better prepare for natural hazards by providing standardized risk data for mitigation planning and an overview of multiple risk factors. This data can help in developing a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan to help increase community resilience, which is a prerequisite requirement for applying for FEMA’s mitigation grants.

The tool determines risk by reviewing a community’s expected annual loss, based on hazard frequency, exposure, and historic loss rate; social vulnerability by measuring the susceptibility of impacted social groups; and community resilience, which measures the ability of a community to recover from, the impacts of natural hazards.

The index contains authoritative data from multiple federal partners and received input from more than 55 partners across the public and private sectors including state, regional and local government agencies; academia; private organizations; and nonprofits. Data were collected from best available resources between 2014 and 2019 and is expected to be updated in 2021.

The tool is free and easy to use, and data from the site is available for download.  FEMA is developing a comprehensive National Risk Index application to release later in 2021.  Visit FEMA’s National Risk Index webpage to learn more about the data and the natural hazards that can affect your community.

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