New York University’s Furman Center has debuted FloodzoneData.us
, an online data tool describing the people and housing located in the nation’s floodplains.
FloodZoneData.us offers an interactive map and data downloads covering the state, county, and Census tract levels. According to the Furman Center, this new tool combines housing and population data with FEMA maps of the 100-year floodplain (the term for areas with a one percent probability of flooding each year) and the 500-year floodplain (areas with a 0.2 percent probability of flooding each year).
In the first public data analysis released by using FloodzoneData.us, it was determined that Florida, Texas, and California have the largest numbers of housing units in the 100-year floodplain, while the majority of the housing units in the combined 100- and 500-year U.S. floodplains are single-family homes (64 percent) and owner-occupied (62 percent). Nine percent of all public housing units and eight percent of all privately-owned subsidized rental housing units are located in the combined 100- and 500-year floodplains.
“Severe climate events are becoming more common, and policymakers in areas across the country are grappling with how to address the risks to residents and communities from flooding,” said Jessica Yager, executive director of the Furman Center. “Having access to data is crucial for effective disaster response and resilience planning. By providing detailed information about the population and housing stock in the floodplains, we hope this tool will help policymakers and communities plan for a more resilient future.”