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Coastal Flood Risks: Achieving Resilience Together

This homepage houses all resources and mapping information related to coastal flood risks and mapping for all stakeholder groups in coastal communities nationwide.


To understand your flood risk and view your flood maps, visit the Flood Map Service Center (MSC).

Learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and how to get flood insurance.

Make a plan, be ready for disaster, visit

Our nation’s coasts are special places and home to some of our most vital resources. Coastal populations continue to grow every year as thousands are drawn by the economic opportunities and beauty of our country’s shorelines. However, the proximity to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes, bays, and tidal rivers that makes our coasts so special is also what makes them high-risk areas. The growing coastal population leads to increased coastal development, which places greater numbers of structures at risk for damage from coastal hazards. Coastal hazards like storm surge, hurricane force winds, and flooding place this population at risk. When storms impact the coast, communities can face serious threats to human safety, extensive damage to infrastructure and the built environment, and economic disaster. In fact, seven of the top 10 most expensive natural disasters in our country were caused by coastal storms.

A 2013 report determined that 39 percent of the U.S. population lives in counties that are directly adjacent to the open ocean, Great Lakes, or major estuary. However, only a small percentage of the U.S. population lives within the 1-percent-annual-chance coastal flood hazard areas as defined by FEMA. All communities in these counties may be vulnerable to flooding, even if they are located outside of the 1-percent-annual-chance flood extent—wherever it rains it can flood and storm surges from major events can reach even farther inland. 

To help these communities understand and reduce their flood risk, FEMA has initiated coastal flood risk studies for 100 percent of the populated coastline as part of its Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP) effort. Through the Risk MAP effort, FEMA is updating the nation’s coastal Flood Insurance Studies (FISs) and Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), where appropriate, and publishing new FIRMs in densely populated areas that were not previously mapped.

FEMA is working with local community officials to produce additional data and hazard mitigation tools to enable more strategic emergency preparedness and mitigation planning in coastal communities through the Risk MAP effort. If you live or work in a coastal area, it is important that you:

  • Review and understand your property’s natural hazard risk; and
  • Take steps to understand individual actions you can take to minimize your personal and property risk to coastal hazards.

This website provides information and tools to help citizens and local officials better understand flood risk and take steps to lessen the impact of coastal storms in your community.

For More Information

Related Links


NOAA. 2013. National Coastal Population Report: Population Trends from 1970 to 2020.

Crowell, M., Coulton, K., Johnson, C., Westcott, J., Bellomo, D., Edelman, S., and Hirsch, E., 2010. An Estimate of the U.S. Population Living in 100-year Coastal Flood Hazard Areas. Journal of Coastal Research, Vo. 26, No. 2, pp. 201-211.



Last Updated: 
10/24/2019 - 16:27