Find Out Your Home or Business’s Flood Risk With This Tool

08.06.2020 | In Coastal Restoration
By Halle Parker

Living in southeast Louisiana almost certainly means living with water. A new national database has provided us with even more tools to help you determine your home’s flood risk. 

The First Street Foundation’s Flood Factor site lets you type in an address and gives you a risk rating scored on a 10-point scale.

When I tried out the tool for my New Orleans apartment, it gave my address a four out of 10, or what it called a “Moderate Flood Factor” and told me the probability of my home flooding in the next 30 years. It also told me that a whopping 98% of Orleans Parish properties, or about 148,000, are at least a moderate risk of flooding. 

In fact, across Louisiana about 477,100 properties are at risk of flooding, based on the database. That flooding could be caused by excessive rainfall, high river or hurricane storm surge. 

Beyond your risk rating, Flood Factor then provides easy-to-understand graphics and statistics about whether a property has likely experienced flooding in the past and the toll of different water depths inside a building.

It also helps to explain the role our changing environment will play in increasing your flood risk over the next few decades due to a warming planet. We’ve already seen predictions for stronger, more frequent hurricanes due to warmer oceans and changing weather patterns. We also understand that sea level rise will exacerbate Louisiana’s ongoing land loss crisis in the years to come. 

Using tools like this database or the state of Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan Viewer to understand how flood risk impacts communities is vitally important for home and business owners to properly prepare and take steps to reduce their risk. 

As demonstrated by the database, the scope of coastal flood risk is vast. But this only underscores the need for action to build up our natural lines of defense and continue to make strides toward building more resilient communities through coastal planning and hazard mitigation efforts.