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Oregon Risk MAP

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What is Risk MAP?

In Oregon, the Oregon Department of Emergency Management (OEM) works with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deliver the Risk MAP (Mapping, Assessment, and Planning) program. The OEM works with federal, state, tribal and local partners to identify natural hazard risks and promote informed plans to reduce that risk. One strategy to accomplish this is through the FEMA Risk MAP process, which leads to natural hazard data development, risk and mitigation analyses, and communication tools. We help provide technical assistance to local communities to reduce losses to life and property, and to protect the natural environment and communities. Risk MAP deliverables help support communities as they work to be resilient. 

Risk MAP Goals

1. Natural Hazards Data

Update natural hazard data to form a solid foundation for risk assessment and floodplain management.

2. Public Awareness and Outreach

Raise awareness about natural hazard risks and increase the public’s understanding of how to address current and future vulnerabilities in their communities with quality data.

3. Comprehensive Hazard Planning

Support local communities to engage in risk mitigation through sustainable activities that reduce or eliminate natural hazard risks to life and property.

4. Cooperation

Develop collaborative relationships to align Risk MAP opportunities and enhance communities’ decision-making capabilities and resilience through risk-informed communication.

Oregon Risk MAP State Strategy thumbnail

Read: Oregon Risk MAP State Strategy 2024

This State Risk MAP Strategy has been developed by Oregon’s Risk MAP Coordinator in cooperation with FEMA Region 10. The purpose of the State Strategy is to provide a current snapshot of the status of community flood hazard information throughout the state, along with a summary and plan for future needs and priorities throughout Oregon.  

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Risk MAP Stories

Columbia River Gorge Post-Fire Hazard Mitigation Response to the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire

Rockslide on Historic Columbia River Highway; Source: US Forestry Service

The Columbia River Gorge contains forested recreational areas, hydroelectric dams, and major transportation lines. It also has steep cliffs and receives over 100 inches of precipitation annually, which mean the area is at risk of landslides. In 2017, this area was burned by the Eagle Creek Fire, which consumed 50,000 acres between Sept. 2 – Nov. 30.

After a fire, there is a risk of post-fire flash flooding and debris flows. These natural disasters can happen in the years following a major wildfire and should be considered in local hazard mitigation planning. A mudslide took place near Dodson, OR, in January 2021, which was one of the areas in the Columbia River Gorge where the terrain had been destabilized. The trees that provided structural integrity to the steep hillsides were burnt away, leaving large areas of the Gorge more susceptible to debris flows, even years after the fire.

Following the Eagle Creek Fire, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collaborated to create a post-fire landslide response plan. They also worked together on a hazard map to address potential post-fire debris flow and flood emergencies. Officials in the communities throughout the Gorge who were affected by the Eagle Creek Fires are prepared to react to these hazards with clear plans and visuals to help direct disaster response.

Risk MAP Success Story: Clackamas County, Oregon: Can Risk MAP Turn on a Dime?

In Clackamas County, Oregon, local officials were concerned about the Sandy River's propensity for flooding and the subsequent bank erosion, which was undermining roads and structures in stretches along the river. As a result of the erosion threat, property owners adjacent to the river had begun to stabilize and fortify the banks. However, the impact and effectiveness of these efforts along the bank were unknown.

FEMA and the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) launched a cooperative study of a stretch of the Sandy River in the summer of 2012. The study used Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and previously available bridge data in order to produce a Limited Detailed Study (LDS) to guide plans for the 2013 building season. Through this cooperative Risk MAP effort, Clackamas County received valuable information on both the short term (velocity) and long term (channel migration) behavior of the Sandy River for use in mitigation and planning needs.