Penn State website lets residents see their flood risk


CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Flooding is the most frequent and most damaging natural disaster in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Flood Risk Tool, developed by Penn State University, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency allows residents and community leaders to see their flood risk status.

“We needed an application that people could use very easily to find out whether or not they’re in a flood zone, and if so, they could purchase flood insurance from the national government.”

Users simply type in their address to the website to access a report on how a flood could impact their property.

“You can print out a report from the application and take that with you to your local government, or to your insurance agent, or to your mortgage agent or something like that for more information on how this might affect you,” said Maurie Kelly, director of informatics at Penn State University.

The application can also help local leaders plan flood management.

“The secondary goal of this was to help people who are doing floodplain management and planning to have easy access to data to have easy access to analysis tools,” Kelly said. “There’s an expert mode for people in that category to see a lot more data and have access to a lot more functionality.”

“What this application does is takes advantage of all the data that we already have out there. Whether it’s from Pennsylvania state governments or local governments, like parcel data that you would get from Centre County or Blair County, and it brings it all together in an application that’s simply focused on this one thing,” Kelly added.

Kelly said it’s a collaborative effort to keep the Pennsylvania community safe now and in the future.

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