FEMA Mitigation Best Practices: Maryland Assesses its Vulnerability to Flooding   [open pdf - 31KB]

This document is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Best Practices Portfolio. The Best Practices Portfolio is a collection of true stories about people and communities who have experienced disasters, and what mitigation they used to survive, rebuild, and prepare for disasters. This Best Practice Story describes, "Maryland has had its share of major flood events since the first recorded major flood event in May of 1860. Since 1933, the state has sought to ensure public safety from flooding through the regulation of development projects proposed for the floodplain. Using FEMA's HAZUS-MH, a hazard vulnerability analysis modeling software, the Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative (ESRGC) sought to generate maps and tables of Maryland's potential for loss related to buildings from flooding on a county-by-county basis. The completion of the HAZUS-MH assessment showed different levels of vulnerability throughout the state. Altogether the assessment showed that in the event of a 100-year flood (a flood that has a one percent chance of occurring in any given year), 13.4% of the state's land mass falls within the flood zone. HAZUS-MH does more than just show where flooding would occur. It can also estimate economic losses from disaster events. The HAZUS-MH model showed that Maryland stands to lose $8.2 billion dollars from a 100-year flood event, with almost 40% of those damages taking place in three counties (Prince George's, Worcester, and Anne Arundel). These findings by the HAZUS-MH models were published into a report by the MDE which made several policy recommendations to mitigate the potential impacts of flooding." This and other individual FEMA Best Practices documents are also combined in "Mitigation Best Practices: Public and Private Sector Best Practice Stories for All Activity/Project Types in All States and Territories Relating to All Hazards [August 10, 2011]," which can be accessed at the following link: [https://www.hsdl.org/?abstract&did=683132]

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