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Alaska Risk Map Program

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Community Risk MAP Studies: Municipality of Anchorage Risk MAP Study

FEMA and the State of Alaska are conducting a Risk MAP Study in the Municipality of Anchorage (MoA) that began in 2013.

Municipality of Anchorage Risk MAP Discovery Documents Municipality of Anchorage Risk MAP Resilience Documents

Project Scope of Work

The MoA Risk MAP Study included a series of non-regulatory risk assessments. A risk assessment analyzes how hazards affect the built environment, population, and local economy by using the Hazus risk assessment tool. Where data necessary for the Hazus tool was limited, exposure assessments were developed to capture similar hazard affects to life, property, and the economy. In hazard mitigation planning, risk assessments and exposure assessments are the basis for mitigation strategies and actions. Risk assessments and exposure assessment define the hazard and enhance the decision-making process. The projects summarized below were included in the MoA's Risk MAP Study:

Seismic Hazus Run and Analysis

As a part of preparation for the Alaska Shield Exercise in 2014, FEMA Region X collected building stock and infrastructure data from MoA which has been formatted for use in Hazus (user-defined function (UDF) database). FEMA will work with MoA to develop the Hazus UDF database with any available updated local information and will update the Advanced Engineering Building Module specific to the MoA. MoA will also provide FEMA the assessment where bridges of concern were identified. Additionally, DHS&EM will provide updated fire station and school retrofit data for the MoA.

FEMA, MoA and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Survey (DGGS) worked together to develop a risk assessment for the three earthquake scenarios listed below:

  1. M7.5 Castle Mountain Scenario
  2. M7.2 lntraplate Scenario
  3. M7.1 Border Ranges Fault

Avalanche, Dam Failure, Flood, Landslide, Wildfire, Wind Vulnerability Assessment

FEMA has completed an exposure assessment using MoA, State, and Federal data and will recommend mitigation strategies based on the results. FEMA has identified vulnerable infrastructure and essential facilities based on results from the Geographic Information System (GIS)-based assessment. FEMA has develop AOMIs in coordination with the Municipality of Anchorage.

Risk Report

FEMA, in coordination with MoA and the State of Alaska prepared a non-regulatory Risk Report which includes narratives on the above hazards and risk exposure, and explaisn the risk assessment methodology and results for MoA. The Risk Report provide loss estimations using Hazus for earthquake hazards. Avalanche, dam failure, landslide, wildfire, and wind include a summary and vulnerability analysis. Areas of Mitigation Interest (AOMI) have been identified for each hazard described above. Results and AOMI will be presented to MoA at an in-person Resilience Workshop, to be held in August of 2016. During the Resilience Workshop, FEMA, the State, and Subject Matter Experts will work with MoA to identify actionable mitigation strategies for the top priority AOMI. MoA is encouraged to link the Resilience Workshop and completed risk assessment products into its ongoing Hazard Mitigation Plan update process.

In addition to the Risk Report, all supporting GIS data has been combined into a risk database. FEMA and the State will provide technical assistance throughout the project and upon delivery of the final database.

Outstanding/Pending Flood Studies

In addition to the new Risk MAP study discussed above, there are two outstanding/pending flood studies in the MOA:

  • A Physical Map Revision incorporating new studies for Furrow and Girdwood Creeks in 2006. This project is a legacy Map Mod project which is currently on hold due to the change in FEMA’s levee policy. The new levee analysis and mapping approach FEMA has developed is currently in the 45-day “Public Review and Comment” Period which started on December 15, 2011.
  • Under the Risk MAP Program, FEMA commenced a Physical Map Revision/LiDAR Acquisition project comprised of a mix of detailed studies and redelineations, including a detailed study of Eagle River and re-delineation of Girdwood flooding sources and of Little Campbell Creek. This project has been suspended due to numerous concerns the Municipality had with technical and procedural aspects of the project, including the vertical datum and the scope of the project study. FEMA plans to continue the project once these concerns are addressed and resolved.

FEMA Region X Risk MAP Newsletters

Contact for More Information

Sally Russell Cox
State of Alaska Risk MAP Coordinator
Division of Community and Regional Affairs
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1650,
Anchorage, AK 99501-3569
Phone (907) 269-4588
Fax (907)269-4539
Email: sally.cox@alaska.gov