The concepts of hazard, vulnerability and risk have been extensively used in various disciplines with a different meaning, impeding cross-disciplinary cooperation for facing hazardous events. Even for natural hazards, such as floods, no unique definitions and assessment procedures have been widely accepted. In this paper we propose a comprehensive way for defining and assessing flood risk and vulnerability in the flood-prone areas. The suggested methodology follows a three-step assessment approach: a) annualized hazard incorporating both probabilities of occurrence and the anticipated potential damages b) vulnerability (exposure and coping capacity) in the flood-prone areas and c) annualized flood risk (estimated on annual basis). The methodology aims to assist water managers and stakeholders in devising rational flood protecting strategies.