The National Risk Index is a new, online mapping application from FEMA that identifies communities most at risk to 18 natural hazards. This application visualizes natural hazard risk metrics and includes data about expected annual losses from natural hazards, social vulnerability and community resilience.
The National Risk Index's interactive web maps are at the county and Census tract level and made available via geographic information system (GIS) services for custom analyses. With this data, you can discover a holistic view of community risk to natural hazards.
Access the National Risk Index
How to Use the National Risk Index
The National Risk Index is easy to use and can support prioritizing resilience efforts by providing an at-a-glance overview of multiple risk factors. The Index can assist communities in:
- Updating emergency operations plans
- Enhancing hazard mitigation plans
- Prioritizing and allocating resources
- Identifying the need for more refined risk assessments
- Encouraging community-level risk communication and engagement
- Educating homeowners and renters
- Supporting the development and adoption of enhanced codes and standards
- Informing long-term community recovery
Visit the National Risk Index to understand your risk to natural hazards.
- Explore the interactive map
- Learn more about your local natural hazard risk
- Access the Index's data to create your own maps and apps
Please email us with questions or to share how you are using National Risk Index.
Introduction to National Risk Index for Natural Hazards
The National Risk Index can be used to support resilience building efforts. Read an overview of the National Risk Index and how it can be used to support mitigation planning, hazard mitigation assistance grants and risk communication.
- National Risk Index Technical Documentation: This comprehensive report highlights the National Risk Index research and methodologies for developing all components of the tool.
- Overview of the National Risk Index: This fact sheet provides an overview of the National Risk Index and how it can be used for natural hazards risk reduction.
Risk Index Contributors
More than 70 entities contributed to the development of the National Risk Index by providing domain expertise and/or data.
Questions and Answers
See more answers to frequently asked questions on the National Risk Index website.
Why do I need another tool to prioritize areas of risk? How is the NRI different?
The National Risk Index is different from other traditional models because it analyzes 18 natural hazard types, in addition to a community’s social vulnerability, community resilience, to provide a more holistic view of risk. It is a great alternative for communities that do not have access to mapping services, since it uses authoritative data from a variety of contributors.
How were hazards selected for the National Risk Index?
Natural hazards included in at least 50% of the state hazard mitigation plans, or those that were considered regionally significant were selected. A regionally significant hazard has the capacity to cause widespread, catastrophic damage, like a hurricane, tsunami, or volcanic activity and profiled by fewer than 25 state hazard mitigation plans.
How does the NRI align with historic FEMA funding? Have “high-risk areas” traditionally received the most funds for mitigation, public assistance, individual assistance, presidential declaration, preparedness grants, etc.?
Many of these decisions are made at a state level, influenced by funding availability, and have qualifying levels. The community resilience component (Baseline Resilience Indicators for Communities) includes the following information:
- Mitigation spending: 10-year average per capita spending for mitigation projects
- Flood insurance coverage: Percentage of housing units covered by National Flood Insurance Program policies
- Disaster aid experience: The number of presidential disaster declarations divided by the number of loss-causing events
Should I prioritize risk reduction funding directly based on the National Risk Index?
The National Risk Index is intended to inform risk-based decision making while increasing risk awareness. While this tool can be one source of information to support risk reduction investments, other information and tools (e.g., a benefit-cost analysis or local knowledge) should also be considered.
My community had a large-scale event recently but does not show up as “high risk.” Why not?
The National Risk Index identifies a community’s risk to natural hazards. Community risk in The Index is a combination of several factors, including the expected annual dollar loss related to building value, population, or agriculture value due to a natural hazard; social vulnerability, represents the susceptibility of social groups to the adverse impacts of natural hazards; and community resilience, measures the ability of a community to prepare for anticipated natural hazards, adapt to changing conditions, and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions.
With these factors, even if a community experiences a large-scale event, its risk may be relatively low overall if it has a highly resilient population, a relatively low overall frequency of hazards, etc.