Planning & Management

Oral

395302 - What do we know about flood risk across the United States? A summary of a Federally-funded study.

Tuesday, June 5
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Greenway GH
Co-Authors: Jerry stedge, Maryland – Abt Associates

Floods are known to be the most damaging natural disasters in the U.S. The U.S. Federal Government plays a large role in reducing flood risk and recovering from floods, spending billions of dollars each year to build and maintain flood control infrastructure, map areas prone to flood, subsidize flood insurance, and provide grants to localities to implement local risk management projects. Further, in recent years large flood disasters have resulted in repeated emergency expenditures. The increase in emergency expenditures, growing fiscal pressures at the Federal level and on-going discussions about the role of the Federal government in managing flood risk and resilience, there is a need to better understand how flood risk and resilience vary across the United States. This paper reports on a Federally-funded study to gather and evaluate available data relevant to national flood risk assessment and to summarize what the available data can and cannot tell us about flood risk across the U.S. National and regional datasets were collected from: the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Service, several states and other sources. Each available data set was evaluated against a series of benchmarks to describe whether and how the data could be used to assess relative flood risk. Several data sets were analyzed to address a number of risk assessment topics, including the concentration of risk, measures of potential relative impact on counties, comparison of risk in 1% annual chance exceedance floodplains versus areas protected by levees and dams, and value of more detailed flood risk information. This paper will summarize findings of the study and will offer conclusions about how well we understand flood risk across the U.S. and the potential implications for policy.

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395302 - What do we know about flood risk across the United States? A summary of a Federally-funded study.



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