Interactive tools help users visualize future flood risks from sea level rise and storm surge; identify areas and populations at risk from coastal hazards; and gain a better understanding of ecological, social, and economic impacts of coastal processes. This information is particularly helpful for officials involved in coastal planning, zoning, and land acquisition who must take rising sea levels and increased storm intensity and frequency into consideration.
The Coastal Resilience approach includes four critical elements:
- Assess Risk and Vulnerability to coastal hazards through community input and tools that include alternative scenarios for current and future storms and sea level rise.
- Identify Solutions for reducing vulnerability that focus on collaborative efforts across social, economic, and ecological systems.
- Take Action help communities develop and implement solutions.
- Measure Effectiveness of efforts to reduce disaster risks and apply ecosystem-based adaptation.
Among the many apps available within the Coastal Resilience Decision Support Tool is the Community Rating System (CRS) Explorer. This app helps planners identify areas that are eligible for Open Space Preservation (OSP) credits in FEMA’s Community Rating System, a voluntary program that encourages improved floodplain management through discounted flood insurance premiums, and provides exportable information to support the application process. The app was initially piloted in eight communities in North Carolina and due to increased demand for CRS tools, the app is steadily gaining popularity nationwide.