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Extreme Storm


About the Dashboards

FEMA Individual Assistance and Storm Impact Dashboards

The Individual Assistance and Storm Impact Dashboards pair data on storm damage with demographic and social vulnerability indicators. This information can be used to evaluate community needs resulting from a storm, as well as to monitor how effective and equitable disaster recovery programs are. The Individual Assistance Dashboards draw on several large datasets to create indicators we can use to interpret how storms impact communities. The datasets are composed of the following: the FEMA Individuals and Households Program, the CDC's Social Vulnerability Index, and U.S. Census data.


Each Individual Assistance and Storm Impact Dashboard has five tabs, as well as a welcome tab and a notes, methodology, and sources tab. Each tab is explained below.

Storm Impact and Damage

This map shows the total number of FEMA individual assistance applications per 100 households. We are using this indicator as a proxy for storm damage — the higher the number of applications, the more widespread the damage. There are advantages and limitations to this metric, which will be discussed in greater length in a forthcoming report.

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An example of this type of map. The image shows Harris County after Hurricane Harvey - Darker red areas indicate higher levels of storm impact.

Social Vulnerability

The CDC's Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) is a measure of a community's vulnerability to a disaster and its ability to recover. This tab uses SVI scores to identify the most vulnerable areas in a community. It can highlight extreme differences in vulnerability, even in small areas.


An example of an SVI map. Harris County is home to some of the most vulnerable tracts and least vulnerable tracts in Texas

Two-Variable Map

This map combines social vulnerability and storm damage to show areas that were both hardest hit and most vulnerable. This map identifies areas that are both high risk and high vulnerability and can be used to help prioritize areas with the greatest needs for disater recovery and mitigation resources.

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This two-variable map of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria shows that the areas of greatest need are largely in the interior of the island, where the most vulnerable populations suffered the most damage.

Equity and Outcomes

Understanding the characteristics of households that applied for aid can be useful when formulating and evaluating policy. 


These charts and graphs show how application outcomes varied based on socioeconomic status and housing tenure. It is critical to note that FEMA has not historically collected race and gender data on applicants; it has committed to doing so in the future, but no data has been released yet. These are clearly very important equity considerations, and we hope to have data in the future.

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The Equity and Outcomes tab for each disaster has metrics both to describe the social status of households applying for individual assistance and equity indicators on how the program is administered.

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