Urban flooding is a growing source of significant economic loss, social disruption, and housing inequality nationwide. To address flooding, we need to know not only where it is happening but also why. SURFR® helps communities understand the why behind flood risks and sets them up to take meaningful action.

Why Choose SURFR® ?

Typical flood risk assessments use physical parameters, like elevation and proximity to water. SURFR® includes physical parameters as well as social data, such as income, population density, and land use. SURFR® is also available for any area of the country, regardless of federal flood zoning, thereby increasing access to the knowledge needed to plan for resiliency and protect vulnerable communities.


SURFR® divides your city into Risk Management Zones (RMZs), which are geographic sub-regions of your city. RMZs can be anything of your choosing, including census tracts, modeled watershed basins, zip codes, or evenly spaced grids.


Why Choose SURFR<sup>®</sup> ?
Explore Your Risk Factors

Explore Your Risk Factors

The SURFR® interactive map shows the SURFR® score for each RMZ in your city, what risk factors make up those scores, and how they compare to FEMA risk levels. Explore the map to learn more about how different risk factors contribute to flooding across your city.



  • See how the SURFR® score ranks RMZs throughout your city relative to one another.

  • Click an RMZ to see how the different factors contribute to flood risk in that zone of your city. If one factor stands out, it is the strongest contributor to flood risk.

  • See how FEMA would assign flood risk scores to your city.

  • Compare how SURFR® and FEMA assign flood risk differently. Click on individual RMZs to see what risk factors lead to that difference.


Data for Any City, Big or Small

Most communities know that they need to address climate change and the increasing risks that come along with it…but climate change is a big problem, and it can be difficult to know where to start, especially on a budget!


SURFR® empowers communities to prioritize flood risk levels across their area so they can make informed decisions on where and how to focus efforts to address flooding. SURFR® can also be a valuable educational tool to keep your community members informed about local risks and how they help their community become more resilient.


Use SURFR to:



  • Prioritize capital improvement projects

  • Identify vulnerable communities

  • Incorporate flood warning systems to protect at-risk communities

  • Choose areas for green infrastructure

  • Preserve natural areas that mitigate flooding

  • Educate citizens about local risk factors


Data for Any City, Big or Small

SURFR Will Help Your Community Take on Climate Change and Become More Resilient

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