Natural Hazards Index v2.0

Lead PI: Jonathan Sury , Jeffrey Schlegelmilch

Unit Affiliation: National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP)

January 2023 - Ongoing
North America ; United States
Project Type: Research


The first step in disaster preparedness, according to the NCDP Model of Preparedness, is to know your risks. Knowing which hazards exist where you live and work increases your situational understanding to inform and tailor a household, business, or community emergency preparedness plan. In a major upgrade to the beta version of the tool, released in 2016, this second version of the US Natural Hazards Index (NHI v2.0) helps visualize natural hazard data for fourteen hazard types in the United States and Puerto Rico (subject to data availability) at the census tract level. All hazard layers are derived from publicly available data sources. The index was created to provide households, communities, as well public health and emergency management practitioners an overview of the natural hazards at the US census tract level, and to facilitate the comparison of the presence and degree of each hazard along with a summary index score.

Most hazard maps focus on a single disaster type. By creating an aggregated measure from multiple individual hazards, a composite measure of collective hazard can be explored. The multiple hazard index represents the aggregate hazard from fourteen individual hazards, each with a five-class rating displayed as a choropleth map. Each hazard is categorized using a five-class categorization of very low, low, moderate, high, very high and assigned a value of 1 to 5, respectively. The summative hazard index displays the sum of each layer’s values (e.g. 1-5).


Natural Hazard Index v2.0 Map Application:




Sean Hansen, Antonia Samur Zúñiga, Daisy Yan




landslides tsunami hazard extreme heat drought earthquake hazards coastal flooding wildfire hurricanes flood hazards natural hazards wind