Thursday, September 26, 2013

Arizona Natural Hazards Viewer offers online interactive maps

Each year, natural hazards such as floods and wildfires threaten communities and cause millions of dollars in damage in Arizona.  The new Natural Hazard Viewer of Arizona website,, developed by the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) in partnership with the Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM), makes identifying and mitigating natural hazards in Arizona a whole lot easier.

The interactive Natural Hazard Viewer focuses on four hazards common to Arizona—geologic faults and earthquakes, earth fissures, floods and wildfire. Each hazard is described in detail and displayed as a layer on a map. Moreover, the natural hazard information is dynamic; site updates will occur as new or revised hazard data becomes available.

The Natural Hazard Viewer serves county planners, county and municipal emergency management offices, and water district managers, among others.  But the viewer is open and free to all and the public can use the “Find Local Hazards” search tool to identify hazards existing within a three mile radius of a specific address.

Data from the hazard viewer can be downloaded. There is also a print function for people who want a physical copy of their personalized hazard map. 

As impressive as the Natural Hazard Viewer is, it’s important to remember that it is a tool. It remains the responsibility of individuals to mitigate the threats posed by hazards to life, property and infrastructure. The website highlights proven mitigation strategies that emergency managers, businesses and home owners can use to avoid loss of life, personal injury, and property damage.

The AZGS geoinformatics team constructed the viewer with input and guidance from ADEM. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided funding for the design, construction and deployment of the site.

The launch of the Natural Hazard Viewer coincides with National Preparedness Month. Throughout September, the emergency management community works to remind people to make a plan, pack a kit, be informed and inspire others. The Natural Hazard Viewer is one way to stay informed of hazards to your home or business, and to learn how to mitigate those threats. 

[Excerpted from our news release]

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