Risk MAP for governments

Ecology leads floodplain management in Washington. We provide technical assistance to local communities to help them better plan within floodplains. We work to reduce losses to life and property, and protect the natural environmental functions and values of floodplains.

The Risk MAP (Mapping, Assessment and Planning) program works for Washington’s local governments. FEMA creates flood maps, we work with you to assess data and dedicate mitigation planning experts to each project. We give local communities the tools and expertise to better understand their flood risk.

How does the Risk MAP program work?

Risk MAP delivers county-wide digital maps for each project. There are three phases of the Risk MAP process: Discovery, mapping and resilience.
  1. Discovery: During this first phase we meet with you to learn about your local government’s needs and scope the project. We review your risk and learn how we can tailor the program to best help you.
  2. Mapping: In the next phase, FEMA delivers flood maps in draft and preliminary form before adopting the new map. We work with you to review the revised flood maps and plan an outreach strategy. Then, we hold a public meeting together to inform homeowners about the new maps and impacts of changes to the floodplain.
  3. Resilience: The final phase of Risk MAP is mitigation planning where we work with you to reduce your risk to natural hazards. During this phase, we brief elected and local officials on the program’s outcomes and impacts to changes in the flood map. We bring Risk MAP data, assessments, and maps to leaders and work with planners to mitigate your risk.

What is the focus of the studies?

We are currently focused on Washington’s coastal flood hazard areas. This means we are revising all of our coastal floodplains, including Puget Sound.

Through Flood Map Modernization, FEMA updated its methods for identifying and mapping coastal flood hazards along Washington's marine coasts including Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean. FEMA is using the new methodology to study the entire populated coastline in detail, including new topography and base-flood elevations along all revised areas. FEMA also initiated a study examining the potential impact of climate change on the flood-hazard identification process. The results of the climate change study may drive additional changes.

What are the current projects in Washington?

See what counties have projects under on our Risk MAP projects page. On this page, you can get documents, schedules, and see products created for each project.