A landscape showing flooding around a levee that failed.


The National Risk Index (the Risk Index or the Index) and its associated data are meant for planning purposes only. This tool was created for broad nationwide comparisons and is not a substitute for localized risk assessment analysis. Nationwide datasets used as inputs for the National Risk Index are, in many cases, not as accurate as available local data. Users with access to local data for each National Risk Index risk factor should consider substituting the Risk Index data with local data to recalculate a more accurate risk index. If you decide to download the National Risk Index data and substitute it with local data, you assume responsibility for the accuracy of the data and any resulting data index. Please visit the Contact Us page if you would like to discuss this process further.

The methodology used by the National Risk Index has been reviewed by subject matter experts in the fields of natural hazard risk research, risk analysis, mitigation planning, and emergency management. The processing methods used to create the National Risk Index have produced results similar to those from other natural hazard risk analyses conducted on a smaller scale. The breadth and combination of geographic information systems (GIS) and data processing techniques leveraged by the National Risk Index enable it to incorporate multiple hazard types and risk factors, manage its nationwide scope, and capture what might have been missed using other methods.

The National Risk Index does not consider the intricate economic and physical interdependencies that exist across geographic regions. Keep in mind that hazard impacts in surrounding counties or Census tracts can cause indirect losses in your community regardless of your community's risk profile. Nationwide data available for some risk factors are rudimentary at this time. The risk profiles for the vast majority of hazard types are based on historical frequency and loss data. They represent risk and expected annual loss based on average past conditions, not future predictions; therefore, they may not fully consider the potential impacts of recent changes to the environment, including anthropomorphic landscape changes, or climate change. The National Risk Index will be continuously updated as new data become available and improved methodologies are identified.

For comprehensive details about how the Risk Index can help you and its limitations, see the National Risk Index Technical Documentation.

Assumption of Risk

In view of the identified limitations of the National Risk Index associated data, by using the data, you acknowledge and agree that FEMA makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy, completeness, or fitness for any particular purpose of the data; that the data is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind; that you assume full responsibility for any consequences that may arise, including financial losses, legal disputes, or other adverse outcomes; and that you release FEMA and the federal government from any liability that may arise to the extent allowable by law.

Attribution, No Endorsement

Please attribute your use of the National Risk Index and its associated data to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

However, you acknowledge and agree that nothing herein constitutes an endorsement of you or your work by FEMA or the federal government, and you shall not imply, through use of the National Risk Index or its associated data or through providing attribution, that FEMA or the federal government endorses you.

About the National Risk Index

The National Risk Index is a dataset and online tool to help illustrate the United States communities most at risk for 18 natural hazards: Avalanche, Coastal Flooding, Cold Wave, Drought, Earthquake, Hail, Heat Wave, Hurricane, Ice Storm, Landslide, Lightning, Riverine Flooding, Strong Wind, Tornado, Tsunami, Volcanic Activity, Wildfire, and Winter Weather.

The National Risk Index leverages available source data for Expected Annual Loss due to these 18 hazard types, Social Vulnerability, and Community Resilience to develop a baseline risk measurement for each United States county and Census tract. These measurements are calculated using average past conditions, but they cannot be used to predict future outcomes for a community. The National Risk Index is intended to fill gaps in available data and analyses to better inform federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial decision makers as they develop risk reduction strategies.

Explore the National Risk Index Map

Visit the Learn More section of the National Risk Index website to access supporting documentation and links.

How to Take Action

There are many ways to reduce natural hazard risk through mitigation. Communities with high National Risk Index scores can take action to reduce risk by decreasing Expected Annual Loss due to natural hazards, decreasing Social Vulnerability, and increasing Community Resilience.

For information about how to take action and reduce your risk, visit the Take Action webpage.