Risk Factor improvements and updates

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We are committed to accuracy and continue to grow, adapt, and update our risk models as new and better information becomes available.

Quarterly Data Updates

At First Street Foundation®, we aim to quantify and communicate America’s climate risk. By making flood, wildfire, wind, and heat risk data freely available for all, individuals and communities can prepare for and mitigate risks before they become a reality.

We are committed to the accuracy of our data and will continue to grow, adapt, and change our flood, wildfire, wind, and heat models as new and better information becomes available. As such, improvements to our models are included in quarterly data updates, while the flood model, wildfire model, wind model, and extreme heat model are updated annually. Sign up for our newsletter to learn about updates as they become available by clicking or tapping here.

Wind Model Updates

February 2023

  • Launched wind risk from the First Street Foundation Wind Model on the Risk Factor™ site. Properties can now look up risks from hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes, or severe wind storms. 

Extreme Heat Model Updates

August 15, 2022

  • Released the First Street Foundation Extreme Heat Model, a first-of-its-kind, nationwide spatial temperature model that makes it easy for individuals to find a property’s heat risk and understand how heat effects will change over time due to environmental changes.

Wildfire Model Updates

May 16, 2022

  • Launched wildfire risk from the First Street Foundation Wildfire Model on the newly created Risk Factor™ site, which is a free online tool that makes it easy for anyone to find their property’s past, present, and future flood and wildfire risk.

Flood Model Updates

May 16, 2022

  • Expanded the First Street Foundation Model to include Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico
  • Improve address matching to allow for more flexibility in showing flood risk to properties other than single-family residential homes.
  • Updated our scoring methodology. The specific depth and likelihood of flooding expected to reach a property are now used to determine the boundaries for each level of flood risk.

April 23, 2021

  • Updated building characteristics (i.e. # of stories, units, basements, ground floor elevation) in some areas to more accurately reflect current findings which improved accuracy for default annual loss calculations for those properties.
  • Updated property FEMA zones based on user-provided documentation
  • Expanded historic flood methodologies to improve the accuracy of 3 historic hurricanes (Harvey, Florence, and Matthew). The updated models now include additional flooding caused by rainfall.
  • Incorporated new high-resolution LiDAR elevation data provided by local officials in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area
  • Updated statistics for 1,600 previously unavailable properties in Georgia

February 22, 2021

  • Added annual flood damage estimates for residential properties at risk 
  • Added total annual flood damage estimates for neighborhoods, zip codes, cities, and counties

January 18, 2021

  • Updated Flood Factors that better represent wetland conditions and incorporate the latest geographic data.
  • Improved the accuracy and extent of flooding for several historic floods, including Hurricane Katrina.
  • Analyzed and added millions of new properties to Flood Factor with improved statistical methods and issues identified by users.
  • Updated FEMA designations to reflect LOMAs and LOMCs submitted by users in addition to more accurate FEMA zone data obtained from FEMA. 

Oct 30, 2020

  • Improved our Flood Model by determining a property’s Flood Factor is most accurate when calculated based on the building’s footprint, or outline. As a result, the center of map pins has been moved from the center of a property to the building footprint.
  • Added new property addresses via Mapbox in order to provide Flood Factors for as many properties as possible.
  • Widened the boundary for coastal properties in order to fully capture all possible flood risk scenarios for these areas.
  • Adjusted Flood Factor for properties in South East Florida to reflect all flood risk scenarios a property faces.
  • Updated 2035 map flood layers for some areas.

September 16, 2020

  • Added 2 million new properties on Flood Factor.
  • Updated Flood Factor scores for some properties based on new and improved data on flood risk.
  • Made additional coastal cities and counties with cleaner coastal flood layer visuals available.
  • Removed areas that are currently under review based on new and improved flood risk data.

Site Improvements

Ongoing site enhancements aim to provide our users with the best experience possible on riskfactor.com

February 27, 2023

  • Launched Wind Factor™, and provided wind risk information that considers how a location’s likely exposure to high-speed winds is affected by climate change’s impacts. 

August 15, 2022

  • Launched Heat Factor®, the first of its kind, spatial temperature model that determines a specific location’s exposure to extreme heat and considers how heat risks will change over the next 30 years due to the changing environment

May 16, 2022

  • Created Risk Factoris a free, online tool that makes it easy for anyone to find their property’s past, present, and future flood and wildfire risk
  • Launched Fire Factor®, the first public, peer-reviewed wildfire model to show how property-level flood risks change over time because of the environment

March 19, 2021

  • Improved site and search speeds across Flood Factor. 
  • Added new videos explaining Flood Factor fundamentals and the differences between Flood Factor and FEMA
  • Modified the content on locality pages to highlight the percentage of properties at risk of flooding. 
  • Modeled risk on the community level to show the severity of risk threatening access to utilities, emergency services, and transportation within a neighborhood, zip code, city, and county.

February 22, 2021

  • Added the average annual cost of all potential flood damages this year and 30 years from now, based on a property's flood projections and the accumulation of those expected costs over time.
  • Included the “adjust building details” tool in order for users to change the various inputs, such as the estimated value of a home, the presence of a basement, the number of stories, and ground floor elevation, to see how these factors affect the costs associated with flood damage
  • Added the total annual flood damage estimates this year, and in 30 years to neighborhood, zip code, city, county, and state pages

January 18, 2021

  • Enhanced maps on desktop to expand for a fully immersive experience.

December 3, 2020

  • Included a zoom bar for the score map to allow users to view Flood Factors on a neighborhood and city level. 
  • Improved the Flood Factor experience on mobile devices.

November 13, 2020

  • Added a pin on score maps so users can easily identify their property at any zoom level.
  • Optimized Flood Factor’s load time for an even faster experience.
  • Updated some coastal areas to include a 50% probability. 

October 30, 2020

  • Updated address information in order to improve the search experience.
  • Updated map pins to be shown on top of building outlines (when possible).
  • Added new and updated coastal cities and counties with cleaner coastal flood layer visuals on the Flood risk explorer in 2035 for properties in southeastern Florida.

Sep 16, 2020

  • Added local Flood Factor score maps on property pages.
  • Made copy updates in partnership with The Association of State Floodplain Management.

August 24, 2020

  • Added the 5% likelihood of a property flooding to the flood risk explorer.
  • Improved address search function on Flood Factor.

Want access to our data?

You can get access to the most comprehensive property-level flood, wildfire, and heat risk data set in existence.

For commercial use or non-profits, academics, or public sector professionals needing data at a property level, First Street Foundation provides access to property-specific flood, wildfire, and heat risk statistics for purchase. Learn more

For nonprofits, academics, and the public sector, aggregated flood, wildfire, and heat risk summary statistics are now available for public, noncommercial use through the AWS Registry of Open Data. Learn more.

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