Risk MAP Intro


What is Risk MAP?

Not only is flooding one of the most common and costly disasters, flood risk can also change over time because of new building and development, weather patterns and other factors. FEMA is working with federal, state, tribal and local partners across the nation to identify flood risk and help reduce that risk through the Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP) program.

Risk MAP provides high quality flood maps and information, tools to better assess the risk from flooding and planning and outreach support to communities to help them take action to reduce (or mitigate) flood risk. Each Risk MAP flood risk project is tailored to the needs of each community and may involve different products and services. 

The Risk MAP program focuses on providing flood prone communities across the nation with tools and data that can be used to mitigate the risk and impact from flooding and communicate with residents and businesses about that risk.  You, as a community official, play an important role in the Risk MAP process.  When it comes to flooding, FEMA recommends that you:

  • Know Your Risk from flooding;
  • Know Your Role in the Risk MAP process; and
  • Take Action to reduce your community’s risk from flooding.


Know Your Flood Risk


Implementing Risk MAP

Everyone has a role to play when it comes to Risk MAP. While FEMA is responsible for the overall administration of the program, Risk MAP is a joint effort involving many other partners. Follow the links to learn what Risk MAP means for you.

KY RiskMAP Color logo


Guidelines and Standards for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping

The revision of nine Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning (RiskMAP) standards as part of the semi-annual maintenance process. The changes clarify existing policy on validation procedures for existing flood maps and adjusting elevation data to account for temporary disturbances related to beach nourishment. The changes adopt the latest USGS / 3D Elevation Program specification for lidar and clarify the requirement for all Letters of Map Revision (LOMRs) to update the National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) and to reflect the location for LOMRs in the NFHL. Finally, a new standard establishes policy for applying the regulatory definitions in the identification of primary frontal dunes. This standard provides clarification for how FEMA will interpret the “continuous or nearly continuous” element of the regulatory definition of a primary frontal dune going forward. This clarification is most likely relevant to property specific requests for revisions to the primary frontal dune designation. A summary of the changes in the standards and the public review is available at the FEMA library.

As part of this maintenance cycle, FEMA issued new guidance documents for RiskMAP and updated the related technical reference documents that define specific requirements for flood risk project deliverables. An overview of RiskMAP standards and guidance and access to all documents is available at http://www.fema.gov/guidelines-and-standards-flood-risk-analysis-and-mapping.  RiskMAP instituted a semi-annual maintenance process for this policy to provide regular updates and procedures for mapping. Updates to the mapping standards will typically be issued twice yearly.


Reducing Risk And Improving Resilience To Buildings And Their Utility Systems – Fact Sheets

March 2019

FEMA Building Sciences at HQ (Building Science Branch – BSB) and Region IV are pleased to announce the release of two fact sheets aimed at reducing risk and improving resilience to buildings and their utility systems. The fact sheets explain that, before building in your community, it is important to recognize the hazards that may be present, their potential impact, and provides numerous considerations and resources to help mitigate those risks.  Effective design, construction, code enforcement and building to or exceeding the latest standard of practice, increases the disaster resilience of structures and their associated utility systems exposed to risk, thereby reducing damages and injuries.

  • Fact Sheet one, entitled FEMA Building Science Considerations for Risk MAP, lists numerous Risk MAP Flood Risk products through which a Building Science lens can be applied by stakeholders to help minimize natural hazard impacts to their property or community.  These include Depth Grids, changes since the last Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), Flood Risk Assessment, Community Engagement and Outreach, as well as other strategies, such as building above code, adopting and enforcing more stringent regulations and utilizing FEMA best practices.
  • The second fact sheet: FEMA Building Science Resources to Help Reduce Risk and Improve Resilienceprovides numerous resources to help foster disaster-resilient communities.  Within the framework of Risk MAP, various stakeholders and communities can use building science resources to help better understand their vulnerabilities and risks, along with options available to them for implementing effective mitigation efforts to reduce building and utility damage and down time and reduce flood insurance premiums.

To do this, there are currently over two hundred BSB flood, wind, Building Code, Mitigation Assessment Team (MAT), Recovery Advisory and other resources available.  Ultimately, BSB resources can enhance Risk MAP product utilization by stakeholders and communities incorporating disaster resilience or best practices into their building and utility planning, code enforcement, design and construction.

For additional information on FEMA Building Sciences, visit: www.fema.gov/building-science.


Getting Planning Mileage Out of the Flood Risk Products

August 2018

FEMA’s Flood Risk Products (FRPs) are sets of data designed to help communities make better planning and investment decisions.  FEMA encourages communities to use the FRPs to support local mitigation planning.  For example, using FRPs to identify the location and impacts of flood hazards in order to better prioritize areas in need of mitigation strategies.

However, community planners may not be aware of what data is available or how it can be used to help meet the mitigation planning requirements found in the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. The new “Using Flood Risk Products in Hazard Mitigation Plans” publication aims to help planners improve how they talk about flood risk in their mitigation plan.  The document explains what FRPs are, where they can be found, and includes several case studies.  Most importantly, the publication walks the user through how each FRP can be applied to help meet mitigation planning requirements.

This product is now available Using_FRPs_in_HMPs_Guide_508.


Revised Guidelines for Executive Order 11988 Floodplain Management & the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard

October 12, 2015

On October 8, 2015, the Water Resources Council approved revised Guidelines for Implementing Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management, and Executive Order 13690, Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder Input.

Fact Sheets:  FEMA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have produced fact sheets in response to several frequently asked questions regarding the intended scope of the President’s FFRMS and the anticipated impacts to many of the programs of these agencies.

Background:  Between 1980 and 2013, the United States suffered more than $260 billion in flood-related damages. On average, more people die annually from flooding than any other natural hazard. Further, the costs borne by the federal government are more than any other hazard. Flooding accounts for approximately 85 percent of all disaster declarations. With climate change, we anticipate that flooding risks will increase over time. In fact, the National Climate Assessment (May 2014) projects that extreme weather events, such as severe flooding, will persist throughout the 21st century. That damage can be particularly severe to our infrastructure, including our buildings, roads, ports, industrial facilities and even our coastal military installations.

To improve the nation’s resilience to flooding and better prepare the nation for the impacts of climate change, the President’s Climate Action Plan directs federal agencies to take the appropriate actions to reduce flood risk to federal investments. To further the Climate Action Plan, the President released Executive Order 13690, Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder Input, which amended EO 11988, Floodplain Management, issued in 1977. The new federal flood risk standard requires all future federal investments in and affecting floodplains to meet the level of resilience as established by the standard. For example, this includes where federal funds are used to build new structures and facilities or to rebuild those that have been damaged.

Consistent with the President’s direction, FEMA, as Chair of the Mitigation Framework Leadership Group, published for public comment in the Federal Register draft guidelines to provide guidance to agencies on the implementation of EOs 13690 and 11988 (80 FR 6530, Feb. 5, 2015). After an extension, the public comment period lasted 90 days, during which FEMA and other members of the Mitigation Framework Leadership Group held eight in-person public listening sessions across the country and one public webinar, to ensure input from stakeholders and the public.  More Information:  Please visit the Federal Flood Risk Management page.




Have questions, contact us at help@kymitigation.org.  Don’t forget to join the KAMM group on LinkedIn and Facebook.