Risk Mapping, Assessment & Planning

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Envelope icon Flood Hazard Mapping e-mail updates


The vision for Risk MAP is to deliver quality data that increases public awareness and leads to action that reduces risk to life and property. Risk MAP builds on flood hazard data and maps produced during the Flood Map Modernization (Map Mod) program.

 The life cycle  begins with Step 1" Identifying Risk" through mapping risk data. Second step is "Assess Risk" by assessing present and future risks. Third step  is "Communicate Risk". By planning for risk, you reach the Fourth step, "Mitigate Risk." By transferring and and reducing risk, you reach back to Step 1 "Identify Risk."

The graphic above demonstrates the vision for the Risk MAP life cycle which begins with Identifying Risk, then Assessing Risk, then Communicating Risk and finally Mitigating Risk.


Building on the success of Map Mod, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will collaborate with federal, state and local stakeholders to achieve goals under Risk MAP:

  1. Flood Hazard Data. Address gaps in flood hazard data to form a solid foundation for risk assessment, floodplain management and actuarial soundness of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  2. Public Awareness/Outreach. Ensure that a measurable increase of the public’s awareness and understanding of risk results in a measurable reduction of current and future vulnerability.
  3. Hazard Mitigation Planning. Lead and support states, local and tribal communities to effectively engage in risk-based mitigation planning resulting in sustainable actions that reduce or eliminate risks to life and property from natural hazards.
  4. Enhanced Digital Platform. Provide an enhanced digital platform that improves management of Risk MAP, stewards information produced by Risk MAP and improves communication and sharing of risk data and related products to all levels of government and the public.
  5. Alignment and Synergies. Align Risk Analysis programs and develop synergies to enhance decision-making capabilities through effective risk communication and management.

The Team

FEMA Headquarters and Regional offices will lead a team of contractors and stakeholder entities to deliver its Risk MAP program. The team is comprised of:

  • FEMA Headquarters – responsible for overall program implementation
  • FEMA Regions – manage regional flood map production and help implement the Risk MAP outreach strategy
  • State, local and tribal entities – help ensure that updated mapping information is used to make informed decisions regarding risk
  • Program Management (PM) contractor – provide general oversight for Risk MAP including integration of activities, development and implementation of a national outreach strategy and stakeholder relations
  • Production and Technical Services (PTS) contractors – update flood hazard data and maps
  • Customer and Data Services (CDS) contractor – provide the digital platform for sharing flood mapping products and information

Risk MAP Progress Website

The Risk MAP Progress Website is an interactive geoportal that was developed to provide transparency and communicate FEMA’s investments towards achieving its vision and goals for Risk MAP.   

Building on the reporting tools and reports developed during Map Modernization (Map Mod) to track program progress, FEMA has enhanced the reporting mechanisms to account for new Risk MAP projects.  Traditionally, project types and investments were displayed through static maps and tables with the annual Progress Report and Production Plan, which are available for download below.  In an effort to improve access and usability, as well as to include Risk MAP projects, the Risk MAP Progress Website was developed.  The website provides stakeholders an interactive means to retrieve information related to Risk MAP and Map Mod projects.

The Risk MAP Progress Website displays projects that have been funded across the nation and provides users with the ability to drill down to a specific region, state or county.  Users may filter and export data by the Fiscal Year (FY) a project was funded or by specific project types, which include watershed, coastal, levee, other riverine and elevation projects.  The data shown on the Risk MAP Progress Website is updated each quarter of the FY.  For more information, please see the Risk MAP Progress Fact Sheet or user guide, which is available through the Help button on the Risk MAP Progress Website toolbar.

The FY10 Flood Mapping Progress Report and Production Plan and the Risk MAP FY09 Flood Mapping Production Plan and associated fact sheet are also available for download.

Risk MAP FY12 Report to Congress

"FEMA's Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP) Fiscal Year 2012 Report to Congress," dated February 23, 2012 provides an update on FEMA's strategic approach, program budget and measures and implementation for Risk MAP.

FEMA is committed to a collaborative planning process that results in high-quality and timely products. Annual reports keep Congress and stakeholders informed of FEMA's progress. As these integrated Risk MAP projects are rolled out, feedback from state and local officials will be used to:

  • Confirm and, if necessary, revise Risk MAP product definitions;
  • Ensure the quality data and products provided by FEMA align with the needs of state, local and tribal entities;
  • Support improved risk communications at the national, state and local levels; and
  • Ensure local decision makers have reliable and actionable information that can be used to reduce risk and create and sustain more resilient communities.

FEMA encourages feedback from National Flood Insurance Program and other Risk MAP stakeholders on the strategic approach and implementation outlined in this document. Interested parties with questions pertaining to specific Risk MAP projects, including flood mapping updates, are encouraged to contact their local and state officials, who are working with their local FEMA Regional Office.

Comments or questions regarding the Report to Congress can be e-mailed to FEMA-RiskMaps@dhs.gov. FEMA will not provide individual replies to comments but all feedback will be considered in FEMA’s implementation of Risk MAP.

FEMA’s Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP) Fiscal Year 2011 Report to Congress,” dated March 15, 2011, is also available for download.

Risk MAP Success Stories

FEMA has completed a number of projects to validate new Risk MAP features and products. The majority of these projects were completed in the period leading up to February 28, 2011 throughout the FEMA regions. Included in these projects are experiences helping communities and individuals identify and manage flood risks and raising the awareness of potential flooding and mitigation opportunities.

Risk MAP Success Stories

Risk MAP Digital Elevation Plan

FEMA has developed the Risk MAP Digital Elevation Plan for acquiring elevation data to support Risk MAP. The Risk MAP elevation approach is a significant, targeted investment to meet the goals laid out in the Risk MAP Multi-Year Plan. The vision for Risk MAP is to deliver quality data that increases public awareness and leads to mitigation actions that reduce risk to life and property. To achieve this vision, this plan will address gaps in flood hazard data to form a solid foundation for risk assessment, floodplain management and provide state, local and tribal entities with information needed to mitigate flood related risks.

Multi-Year Plan

FEMA has developed a Risk MAP multi-year plan spanning FY10-FY14. The plan, which was approved on March 16, 2009, outlines the program’s goals and objectives and summarizes FEMA’s approach to strategic planning and stakeholder roles and responsibilities.

Questions regarding the plan should be directed to FEMA-RiskMaps@dhs.gov.

A Risk MAP fact sheet is available in the FEMA Library.

Notice To Congress: Monthly Update on Flood Mapping

Through its Risk MAP program, FEMA consistently releases new flood maps and data, giving communities across America access to helpful, authoritative data that they can use to make decisions about flood risk.

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Biggert Waters) as amended with the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 directs FEMA to notify Members of Congress when constituents in their district are and will be affected by a flood mapping update.

Beginning in June 2014 and recurring each month in accordance with these requirements, FEMA produces a summary document to serve as notification to Congress and provide details of mapping milestones reached in the previous month and an estimated schedule of  certain mapping activities anticipated in the next three months. To access these notices to Congress, visit the Notice to Congress: Monthly Updates on Flood Mapping for 2014 in the FEMA Library. 

Additional Resources

FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC):

The FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC) serves as the official online location for accessing flood hazard mapping products created under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This includes your community’s regulatory flood map, called a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). 

Coming summer 2014, FEMA will launch a redesigned and greatly enhanced MSC. The latest generation MSC serves as a streamlined product portal that provides both general and advanced users with intuitive, powerful and completely free of charge access to flood hazard products and tools.

Enhancements and features found on the redesigned MSC include:

  • Quick and Easy Downloads- An enhanced map search will enable the public to find and download their flood map and any revisions or amendments to it, in a matter of seconds
  • Free Subscriptions- Free customizable email subscriptions for interested parties to receive notifications of when new flood hazard data and information is available for their community
  • Everything In One Place - An integrated product search will allow users to locate every flood hazard product available for their area of interest in just a few clicks
  • Tailored Help Information- How-To guidance, help text throughout the site and responses to Frequently Asked Questions that assist first-time users through the site and to information they need

For More Information

For more information or additional assistance:

Last Updated: 
07/30/2014 - 22:44
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