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Hazard Risk & Vulnerability

Hazards that have the potential to impact Wicomico County are listed below. These hazards have been ranked by Stakeholder members, as follows: High, Medium-High, Medium, Medium-Low.

HIRA Table.jpg

For the complete Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment (HIRA) process, click below.

Coast Smart Climate Ready Action Boundary (CRAB)

Conveying Flood Risk Beyond the Floodplain

Maryland Coast Smart regulations that went into effect on September 1st, 2020 - now require State projects over $ 500,000 for construction or State funding to apply the corresponding horizontal limits of the higher 100-year + 3 feet inundation as indicated by the Coast Smart - Climate Ready Action Boundary (CS-CRAB).

To learn more about CRAB, visit the Story Map.

The Coast Smart Climate Ready Action Boundary (CRAB) data is now available for viewing on CRAB Visualization Tool.


Social Vulnerability

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) uses fifteen (15) U.S. Census variables to calculate SVI scores that can help local officials identify communities within the county that may need additional support before, during, and/or after disasters. 


An important aspect relating to the health, safety, and welfare of Wicomico County’s communities is social vulnerability. Wicomico County recognizes that identifying socially vulnerable populations is an important step in mitigating for natural disaster events. According to the CDC, social vulnerability refers to “the negative effects on communities caused by external stresses on human health. Such stresses include natural or human-caused disasters, or disease outbreak.” Reducing social vulnerability can decrease both human suffering and economic loss.


The CDC developed a Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) to help local jurisdictions determine their level of vulnerability based on fifteen (15) indicators that are routinely utilized to measure social vulnerability. These indicators are as follows:


  • Socioeconomic Status

  1. Below Poverty

  2. Unemployed

  3. Income

  4. No High School Diploma

  • Household Composition & Disability

  1. Aged 65 or Older

  2. Aged 17 or Younger

  3. Civilian with a Disability

  4. Single-Parent Households

  • Minority Status & Language

  1. Minority

  2. Speaks English “Less than Well”

  • Housing Type & Transportation

  1. Multi-Unit Structures

  2. Mobile Homes

  3. Crowding

  4. No Vehicle

  5. Group Quarters


The SVI has been conducted for Wicomico County at the census tract level and is mapped below. The SVI utilizes ACS 5-year estimates. The darker census tracts indicate areas of higher social vulnerability while the lightest tracts indicate relatively low social vulnerability. The SVI results have been mapped alongside  hazards to aid in determining areas of concern where hazard mitigation activities might make the most sense due to increased vulnerability. Areas of concern are locations where high social vulnerability and  hazards overlap.  Measuring social vulnerability at the census tract level is meant to help guide further planning. Investigation at the neighborhood level is required to fully identify vulnerable populations.

Wicomico SVI 2018 Map.png
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