How to use the Community Risk map and overview

Learn how to read the Community Risk map to understand how flood risk may impact your local area.

The risk of flooding impacts more than an individual property. Flooding can impact the broader social, commercial, and community infrastructure surrounding your home. Flood Factor’s Community Risk information can provide insight into the impact flooding can have on day-to-day life within a community.

Understanding the Community Risk overview


In addition to the damage to residential properties, floods that impact infrastructure, or which cut off access to utilities, emergency services, and transportation, can impact business and homeowners. As climate change alters the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, deteriorating infrastructure and the communities they serve will be especially vulnerable. 

Community Risk overview tabs


Flood Factor’s Community Risk overview shows how flooding can impact your area. Community Risk can vary for different levels of geographies. The tabs in this section allow you to compare how risk can vary between neighborhoods, zip codes, municipalities/cities, and counties by toggling tabs on and off. When searching a property on Flood Factor, the Community Risk overview automatically shows risk at the lowest of geography available, either your neighborhood or zip code. All properties have information available at the zip code and county level but not necessarily for the neighborhood. 

Community Risk meter


The Community Risk meter allows you to visually understand the actual and potential risk level of a location. When toggling through the neighborhood, zip code, municipality/city, and county, the risk meter changes to show the vulnerability associated with each selected location.

Community Risk caption


The Community Risk caption sits below the risk meter, and provides information to help you better understand how risk in your community compares to risk across the country. Information about how risk in your area may change over time due to the changing climate is also provided. When toggling through neighborhood, zip code, municipality/city, and county, Community Risk captions change to provide relevant information. To learn more about the specific risks associated with each location, you can follow the link provided to a more detailed risk profile. 


How to read the category risk table


The category risk tables allow you to understand each category's specific risks and how they contribute to overall lCommunity Risk scores. When toggling through levels of geography, category risks change to show the vulnerability associated with each location.

Category names


Community Risks are broken down into 5 categories and shown in the first column on the category risk table; residential properties, roads, commercial properties, infrastructure, and social risk. To learn more about the specific risks associated with each risk category, you can hover over the info icon. 

Category risk meter


The category risk meter allows you to visualize the risk level for each category within your community. When toggling through neighborhood, zip code, municipality/city, and county, the category risk meter changes to show the risk of each category at various geographies.  

Category risk descriptor


Column 3 identifies the level of risk shown on the category risk meter for each category across  5 risk levels; Minimal, Minor, Moderate, Major, Severe and Extreme. Information about how climate change can affect risk for each category is also provided. For categories where flood risk is increasing due to the climate,  these locations can expect to see flooding at a higher depth, more frequently, or both over the next 30 years.


How to interpret the Community Risk map


The Community Risk map allows you to easily visualize the geographic distribution of infrastructure and facilities at risk in your area, and analyze risk by category to see how that risk may change for different location levels and better understand the distribution and proportion of risk in your area.

Community Risk map view dropdown


Use the drop-down on the Community Risk map to see the structure at risks in your area by category. You may want to learn more about Infrastructure at risk in your area. Selecting “Infrastructure” from the drop-down allows you to see how flooding can impact utilities, emergency services, transportation, and military stations in your area.

Compare categorical risk for various areas


If you click “compare areas” under map view, you can see how flood risk in your area compares to surrounding communities. Using the dropdown described above, you can compare overall risk of flooding, or visualize risk specific to infrastructure, social, roads, commercial properties, or residential properties.

Community Risk map dropdown tabs


For a deeper dive into categorical risk, you can select specific structures within a category. For example, select "Social" in the map view dropdown; from here, choose to view flood risk to schools for your area.

Community Risk map tabs


You can use the risk map tabs to toggle between communities to see how risks to facilities in each category vary between neighborhoods, zip codes, municipalities/cities, and counties. 

Overall risk map filters


Community Risk ranks can vary within a category depending on a structure's elevation or distance to water sources, such as lakes, rivers, or oceans. To view infrastructures by the level of risk, select "Filter by level."

Community Risk map legend


The Community Risk map is a choropleth map. The choropleth map uses different colors to show how flood risk varies between communities, with green representing minimal risk and dark red showing severe risk. For instance, if you would like to compare the overall risk between your zip code and those around you, select "Compare areas." The map legend makes it easy to understand how the different colors relate to varying levels of risk.  


Learn more

How are Community Risk levels determined? 

Community Risk FAQ

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