Identifying Hazards

A map showing properties that have been repeatedly damaged by storms.

In an increasing number of communities along the coast of Massachusetts, erosion and flooding impacts are causing damage even during minor storms. Knowing what and where these potential coastal hazards are greatly enhances your community’s ability to address them. Accurate maps and information are needed to: protect public and private investment, guide development and redevelopment, plan for further economic growth and infrastructure, and protect public trust lands, such as town beaches and parks.

Below is a menu of hazard identification and mapping options.

Using FIRMs and FIS Reports to Map and Identify Hazards

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are the foundation for most local coastal hazard identification and mapping efforts. The information below helps communities get the most out of FIRMs and FIS reports, while understanding their limitations.

Enhancing FIRMs and FIS Reports

While FIRMs and FIS reports are a great starting place for hazard identification and mapping, incorporating the additional information listed below can greatly increase your community’s safety:

Sharing Hazard Information

The web pages below can help make hazard identification maps and information available to the people who need them.