Safety and Prevention

Safety and Prevention

  • Learn your vulnerability to flooding by determining the elevation of your property. Evaluate your insurance coverage; as construction grows around areas, floodplains change. If you are in a flood area, consider what mitigation measure you can do in advance.
  • In highly flood-prone areas, keep materials on hand like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, plastic garbage bags, lumber, shovels, work boots and gloves.
  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels and areas known to flood, so you or your evacuation routes are not cut off.
  • Monitor NOAA Weather Radio.
  • Avoid driving into water of unknown depth. Moving water can quickly sweep your vehicle away.
  • Restrict children from playing in flooded areas.
  • Test drinking water for potability after a flood; wells should be pumped out and the water tested before drinking.
  • Do not use fresh food that has come in contact with floodwaters. Wash canned goods that come in contact with floodwaters with soap and hot water.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.

See more information on flooding preparedness on our site.

Property Protection Measures

Every year, flooding causes more property damage in the united States than any other type of natural disaster. While recent construction practices and regulations have made new homes less prone to flooding, many existing structures remain susceptible. Throughout the country there is a growing interest from property owners to develop practical and cost effective methods for reducing or eliminating exposures to flooding. Several effective ways include acquisition and relocation of a building to a site not subject to flooding, construction of floodwalls or berms to keep water away from the property, or retrofitting structures to make them flood proof. Retrofitting is a different approach from the other ways because the property itself remains subject to flooding while the building is modified to prevent or minimize flooding of habitable space.

Retrofitting to help Prevent Flood Damage

There are several recognizable approaches to retrofitting :

  • Elevation of the structure above flood protection levels.
  • Contruction of Barriers
  • Dry Floodproofing (water tight floors and wall systems)
  • Wet Floodproofing (permits entry and passage of flood waters)

The FEMA publishes a Guide to Retrofitting.