Recent severe storm experiences in the U.S. Gulf Coast illustrate the importance of an integrated approach to flood preparedness planning that harmonizes stakeholder and agency efforts. Risk management decisions that are informed by and address decision maker and stakeholder risk perceptions and behavior are essential for effective risk management policy. A literature review and two expert models/mental models studies were undertaken to identify areas of importance in the flood risk management process for layperson, non-USACE-expert, and two USACE-expert groups. In characterizing and mapping stakeholder beliefs about risks in the literature onto current risk management practice, recommendations for accommodating and changing stakeholder perceptions of flood risks and their management are identified. Needs of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) flood preparedness and response program are discussed in the context of flood risk mental models.