Coastal Hazards Assessment and Planning Tools


FEMA Flood Insurance Risk Maps and Loss Reports

Step 1: Visit the FEMA Flood Map Service Center

Step 2: Enter an address in the search bar, lets use: 167 Lockwood Dr, Charleston, SC

Step 3: Explore Preliminary Data: City of Charleston

What are the zones? Is there a base flood elevation noted? What does it mean?

More information on the mapping products – download the 2009 FEMA guide.

NOAA Storm Events Database

Step 1: Visit the NOAA Storm Events Database search page

Step 2: Chose the state to the lower left

Step 3: Set the date range, filter by event if desires

Step 4: Place order – likely only centered on stations and may take time for data to be retrieved

Real Time Data

Data can be explored via the coastal ocean observing systems (COOS) networks for real-time data for coastal communities, visit: MARACOOS OceansMAP

Coastal Change Hazards Portal

Step 1: Visit the Portal entry page and the Coastal Change and Hazards Map

Step 2: Start the portal, and then choose the products you wish to view.

What resources apply most to your situation? What concerns do you have for your community?

NOAA Digital Coast – Data

This is a clearinghouse of many data sources from the Department of Commerce agencies. Select a category and explore data for your area.

Step 1: Start by visiting the main page.

Step 2: For this, let’s explore economic data. Search for: “Total Economy for US Coastal Shoreline Counties”

State or Local Spatial Data Resource

Many states will have a geospatial clearinghouse or GIS data library for agencies and the public to access. Some examples:

Hawaii: Office of Planning

California: Geoportal

Oregon: Spatial Data Library

Washington: Geospatial Open Data

What data layers interested you? Do you have the tools to analyze these?

State Hazards Data

Some states have pulled together portals to share hazard specific data. Here are some examples:

Connecticut: Coastal Hazards Viewer

Oregon: DOGAMI Hazards Viewer

Other models:

Colorado: Planning for Hazards (While not coastal, it is a model some coastal states are developing as well.)

US Census Bureau

The Census uses the American FactFinder tool as an easy way to access data from many of the Census products. Let’s explore this by looking for median income data.

Step 1: Visit American FactFinder

Step 2: Used the Advanced Search and use “B19013” – to pull up the median income data. Set to Honolulu for the location

Step 3: Click through the results

What is the estimate? What is the margin of error?

CDC Social Vulnerability Index

Step 1: Visit the program’s main page

Step 2: Open the interactive viewer

Step 3: Explore some counties and compare the underlying themes.

What drives the differences? How do you interpret the differences?

Putting it All Together: Synthesis Tools

Portland Demonstration

Using multiple data sources and open-source web-mapping tools, data products can be brought together for visualization. This example from Oregon helps demonstrate these concepts.

South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) has used Digital Coast products to create a Hazard Vulnerability Analysis tool with an online viewer and downloadable source code (opens as a PDF).