To maximize the effectiveness of flood risk management, city governments should employ multiple policy instruments to balance the objectives of resilience (i.e., risk reduction), efficiency (i.e., benefits exceed costs) and legitimacy (i.e., political and public support). Flood risk management instruments differ to the extent that they emphasize some of these objectives over others, so informed trade-offs are required when selecting and combining them. Contextual factors, such as available resources, the level of flood risk and the degree of public risk awareness, are also salient when choosing among policy instruments for flood risk management.