Flood Preparedness: Safeguarding Your Home Against Catastrophic Flooding

Flood Preparedness: Safeguarding Your Home Against Catastrophic Flooding

Meet Ed

Instructor Ed Jones has over 30 years of experience in theindustry, has the title of MasterWater Restorer, is an Institute ofInspection Cleaning andRestoration Certification (IICRC)-approved instructor, and hasserved on the S500-2021consensus body committee todevelop the most recent standard.

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This month's flood preparedness blog will explore strategies to physically fortify your home against flooding, including landscape adjustments and barriers and tips for evacuation and property protection. Preparing for a flood takes more than physical preparation, such as building berms and retaining walls.  

Purchase a flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to keep your home and personal belongings safe.

Do You Need Flood Insurance?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps the floodplains in each state and assigns a flood zone to each area within a state. These zones provide such exact information that a home one block from yours might fall into a different flood zone.

Homeowners in flood zones A and V must purchase flood insurance to qualify for and maintain their mortgage loan, according to NFIP's website Floodsmart.gov. Some financial lenders may require a home buyer to purchase a flood insurance policy if they purchase in a moderate- or low-risk area (those marked zones B, C, or X). When this occurs, it's usually due to a recent flood that affected those areas.

Creating a Safer Physical Space

Hiring a landscaper can help you create a property that proves more resilient to floods. A landscape architect measures the slope of your land and then recommends methods to make it flood-safe. They might suggest building a berm in a creek to stem the tide of rushing water or constructing a retaining wall to block flood water from entering your yard.

When constructing a new home or rebuilding after a flood event, consider rebuilding the home using a stilt house design. This method raises the home's lower level a few feet above ground level, creating a breezeway beneath the home. Typically, five feet or higher from ground level, the home's first floor deftly avoids floodwaters. Other options include adding a second floor to a home or building upward instead of out. This provides a quick way to reach higher ground when a flash flood occurs, and the home's second level provides a safe place to store valuables.

Improve Your Flood Safety Plan

Homeowners' insurance policies don't cover floods; only flood insurance covers floods, so choose your policy from an NFIP-approved carrier today and cover your home's structure, contents, or both.

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