Trulia makes natural hazard mapping consumer-friendly

by Rachel Minnery

Incorporating scientific data from federal agencies and organizations is now available at your fingertips (if you’re using a phone app, that is).

Potential homeowners in the Los Angeles area are able to see information on past wildfires thanks to Trulia. Source: Trulia.

Potential homeowners in the Los Angeles area are able to see information on past wildfires thanks to Trulia. Source: Trulia.

A reference for home buyers and renters on the types of natural hazards that may cause harm to people and potential new homes, Trulia‘s  free map overlay allows property owners to see the risks of flood, hurricane, earthquake, tornadoes and wildfire.

Remember a few points:
1) Always check with a local architect or engineer for site-specific conditions that may alter the mapping results, as the map information is typically generalized,
2) the maps don’t typically incorporate risks associated with climate change and sea level rise, so adjust your appetite for risk accordingly, and,
3) Trulia’s data is only as good as the accuracy of federal mapping.
For instance, many of New York City’s flood maps were dated as 1983 when Hurricane Sandy struck the northeast in 2012.

Aside from the latter, kudos to Trulia for making this information public and more easily digestible than some of the scientific data we see.

To learn more, see Kenan Jue’s blog entry on natural hazard maps at Trulia.

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