Mapping Components

Table of contents:

FEMA's Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP)

As part of its activities related to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has begun the transition from Map Modernization to Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning (Risk MAP) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2009. The vision for Risk MAP is to deliver quality data that increases public awareness and leads to action that reduces risk to life and property. Risk MAP builds on flood hazard data and maps produced during the Flood Map Modernization (Map Mod) program.

This graphic demonstrates the vision for the Risk MAP life cycle which begins with Identifying Risk, then Assessing Risk, then Communicating Risk, and finally Mitigating Risk

The graphic above demonstrates the vision for the Risk MAP life cycle which begins with Identifying Risk, then Assessing Risk, then Communicating Risk, and finally Mitigating Risk.

Specifically, Risk MAP will achieve the following goals:

Building on the success of Map Mod, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will collaborate with Federal, State and local stakeholders to achieve goals under Risk MAP:

  1. Flood Hazard Data. Address gaps in flood hazard data to form a solid foundation for risk assessment, floodplain management, and actuarial soundness of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  2. Public Awareness/Outreach. Ensure that a measurable increase of the public’s awareness and understanding of risk results in a measurable reduction of current and future vulnerability.
  3. Hazard Mitigation Planning. Lead and support States, local, and Tribal communities to effectively engage in risk-based mitigation planning resulting in sustainable actions that reduce or eliminate risks to life and property from natural hazards.
  4. Enhanced Digital Platform. Provide an enhanced digital platform that improves management of Risk MAP, stewards information produced by Risk MAP, and improves communication and sharing of risk data and related products to all levels of government and the public.
  5. Alignment and Synergies. Align Risk Analysis programs and develop synergies to enhance decision-making capabilities through effective risk communication and management.

For more information about Map Modernization, please visit the webpage at Map Modernization.

For more information about FEMA program Risk MAP, please visit the webpage at Risk MAP.

Cooperating Technical Partners Program

The Cooperating Technical Partners (CTP) Program is an innovative approach to creating partnerships between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and participating NFIP communities, regional agencies, State agencies, tribes, and universities that have the interest and capability to become more active participants in the FEMA flood hazard mapping program.

The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) is responsible for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and floodplain management, protection and planning in the State of Missouri.  On June 17, 1999, SEMA, entered into a Cooperating Technical Partner (CTP) agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Region VII. SEMA has worked closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the past fourteen years on various aspects of floodplain management, including Map Modernization, Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning (Risk MAP) and activities associated with the NFIP.  SEMA is proud of the Federal/State partnership that was developed through the implementation of the Flood Map Modernization Program (FMMP) and Risk MAP.

This agreement provides that SEMA assumes responsibility for the development and updating of the flood hazard maps (known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps, or FIRMs) on a countywide-basis for all counties in the State. The State's progress towards its objective is monitored quarterly by FEMA Region VII.

Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM)

A Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) is a Flood Insurance Rate Map that has been prepared as a digital product, which may involve converting an existing manually produced FIRM to digital format, or creating a product from new digital data sources using a Geographic Information System environment. The DFIRM product allows for the creation of interactive, multi-hazard digital maps. Linkages are built into an associated database to allow users options to access the engineering backup material used to develop the DFIRM, such as hydrologic and hydraulic models, Flood Profiles, data tables, Digital Elevation Models, and structure-specific data, such as digital elevation certificates and digital photographs of bridges and culverts.


A levee is a manmade structure, usually an earthen embankment designed and constructed in accordance with sound engineering practices to contain, control, or divert the flow of water so as to provide protection from temporary flooding. FEMA will only recognize in its flood hazard and risk mapping effort those levees systems that meet, and continue to meet, minimum design, operation, and maintenance standards that are consistent with the level of protection sought through the comprehensive floodplain management criteria. The 44CFR Part 65.10 describes the  federal regulations that must be satisfied for any given levee to be depicted  as providing protection on the NFIP maps from the 1% (i.e. 100 year base flood) event.

While levees can help reduce the risk of flooding, it is important to remember that they do not eliminate the risk. Levees can and do deteriorate over time and must be maintained to retain their effectiveness. When levees fail, or are overtopped, the results can be catastrophic. In fact, the flood damage can be greater than if the levee had not been built. For those living or working near levees, it is important to understand the risk, learn the facts, and be aware of steps that can be taken to protect their families, businesses, and communities from the threat of flooding

For more information, visit FEMA’s Levees Resources Library, a one-stop-shop for information available online about levee-related topics, including levee basics, levee risk, levee safety and mapping. Highlighted resources include webpages, interactive learning tools, and topical fact sheets.