FEMA Releases National Risk Index

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) releases an online mapping application to analyze risk factors from 18 natural hazards in addition to expected annual losses, social vulnerability and community resilience.

New Online Data Shows Natural Hazards Risks for Communities

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. To provide a holistic view of community risk, this online mapping application analyzes risk factors from 18 natural hazards in addition to expected annual losses, social vulnerability, and community resilience.

This data release makes the underlying data available for use by state, local, tribal, territorial and private sector partners. The National Risk Index can help communities, especially those with limited mapping and risk assessment capabilities, better prepare for natural hazards. Specifically, the National Risk Index can help with:

  • Enhancing hazard mitigation plans
  • Identifying the need for more refined risk assessments
  • Encouraging community-level risk communication and engagement
  • Developing codes and standards
  • Informing long-term community recovery
  • Prioritizing and allocating resources
  • Updating emergency operations
  • Informing the insurance and mortgage industries
  • Educating new homeowners and renters

The Index 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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