Flood Risk Products and Floodplain Management

It is not enough to identify where flooding may occur. The most common method of determining flood risk is to identify the probability and consequences of flooding.


Flood Risk = Probability x Consequences


Probability = likelihood of occurring

Consequences = estimated impacts associated with the occurrence


There are many sources of information and data to help determine flood risk.  FEMA’s Risk MAP program develops Flood Risk Products. These products help community officials and the public view and understand their local flood risk and make better-informed decisions about preparing for and mitigating flood losses.


Flood Risk Products are not intended to be used as the basis for official actions required under the National Flood Insurance Program, such as determining mandatory insurance purchase requirements for a property, determining the insurance rate for a property, or enforcing minimum building standards for construction in a floodplain. These work alongside regulatory products to provide additional flood risk information and support a community’s overall floodplain management and hazard mitigation strategies and plans. Three Flood Risk Products that are provided include the Flood Risk Database that contains the Flood Risk Datasets, Flood Risk Report, and the Flood Risk Map.

The Flood Risk Datasets provide the following information:

  • Quantifies flood risk in dollars
    • Residential Loss
    • Commercial Loss
    • Other Asset Loss
  • Identifies area of relative flood risk
    • Flood prone areas
    • Vulnerable people and property
  • Identification of Business Disruption
    • Considers Total Occupancy Tables
    • Considers lost Income and Wages
  • Helps estimate potential losses due to flood risk:
    • Classification (Residential, Commercial, Other)
    • Average Value (buildings/Census block)
    • Population
    • Total Loss
    • Building/Content Loss
  • Provides a visual representation of flood risk





Flood Risk Products greatly help assess, visualize, and communicate local flood risk. There are many benefits for community members and officials.


Community Members:

  • Enhance understanding and awareness of a community’s flood risks and why flood zones have changed
  • Identify areas at-risk of flooding, along with the factors that contribute to those risks
  • Allow neighboring communities in a flood risk project area to see factors that may impact them, fostering collaboration
  • Quantify potential future flood losses to existing structures or homes
  • Improve ability to identify effective mitigation actions or areas requiring higher building code requirements or use of flood resilient designs and construction materials
  • Makes it easy for communities and homeowners to identify the impacts of new maps on the regulatory floodplain

Community Officials:

  • Support Floodplain Management, Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grants and Community Rating System (CRS) activities
  • Enhance emergency and community planning by illustrating highest impacted areas
  • Assist with response and recovery planning and resource distribution
  • Inform flood risk reduction actions, such as advocating for higher building code requirements or the use of flood resilient designs and construction materials
  • Inform decision-makers where to prioritize mitigation activities and resources
  • Help visually communicate flood risk to the public
  • Improve risk communication and outreach