Flood Mitigation Guide for Homeowners

Mitigation measures can assist in defending your house from the devastating impacts of severe flood damage. There are several approaches to preventing flooding in your house, ranging from simple and inexpensive to complex and expensive. Knowing which of these to use depends on how frequent a flood is in your area.

Building guidelines for resistance to flooding are provided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Nearly 80% less damage is sustained yearly by structures built in accordance with these requirements than by non-compliant ones.

A crucial first step in defending your house is buying flood insurance. Floods can happen practically anywhere, and climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of floods. Only in cases when the flooded region is designated as a natural disaster is federal disaster assistance, which takes the form of a low-interest FEMA loan, accessible. Therefore, even if you are not located in an FMEA-designated high-risk flood zone, you should get insurance. Your Triton INsurance Group agent can help you buy NFIP flood insurance. Insurance coverage normally takes effect 30 days after purchase, so don’t put it off.

Your Flooding Action Plan

It’s crucial to have a flood mitigation strategy in place for your home, your family, and your priceless belongings. Here are a few pieces of advice:

  • Register with the emergency alert system in your neighborhood.
  • Make and keep an emergency travel kit. Make sure every member of the family is aware of the location of the meeting place and the evacuation route you have picked.
  • Keep your most priceless or precious objects on the top floor of your home. Make digital or hard copies of your most significant pictures. Do not make your basement a dwelling area.
  • For usage in the event that the power goes out, take into consideration buying a generator. Install it higher than a flood zone that is likely to occur. Make sure that all electrical connections are securely above flood waters when the equipment is in use.

Flood Mitigation and Prevention

Understanding how flooding will likely affect your house is the first step in mitigation. A fantastic method to evaluate your current and future risk is to get your ClimateCheck property report (https://climatecheck.com). The FEMA flood maps are another really thorough and neighborhood-specific tool for figuring out your flood risk. The Base Flood Elevation (BFE), a FEMA term, is frequently used to calculate the flood risk to real estate. In a flood event, which has a one in one hundred probability of occurring in any given year, the BFE specifies the height at which floodwater is anticipated to reach. For details on FEMA flood zone classifications, as well as information on how to interpret and assess FEMA flood maps, see this guide (https://climatecheck.com/risks/flood/fema-flood-maps-explained). You may learn more about the potential water risks in your town from your local emergency management and floodplain manager.

Flood protection and mitigation can be grouped into 2 categories: “dry flood-proofing” and “wet flood-proofing.” Floodwaters can enter and pass through a house’s enclosed spaces with wet floodproofing. Dry floodproofing, in contrast, aims to completely bar the passage of floodwater. The advantage of letting water flow into your house is that it may alleviate pressure put on it during floods, which lowers the risk of structural damage. However, the majority of mitigation techniques fall under the umbrella of dry floodproofing and water protection.

Check out the following items to determine whether mitigation measures are suitable for you:

Cheaper Alternatives

  • To stop shallow floods from seeping in and harming your house and goods, add waterproof veneer to your foundation, exterior walls, windows, and entrances. You may use waterproofing chemicals to seal the walls of your basement.
  • Use non-porous, flood-resistant flooring materials, especially in the parts of your home that are below the BFE. For instance, use sheetrock, flood-resistant insulation, and tile in place of carpet.
  • Purchase sandbags to direct water around structures. Buy flood barriers for doors.
  • To stop water from collecting near your foundation, clean your gutters and check that your downspouts direct water away from your home.
  • Clear any debris from storm drains that are close to your home. Contact your municipal authority if a drain is not working properly or is draining inconsistently.
  • Buy rain barrels and attach them to gutter downspouts to catch rainwater and lessen the risk of flash floods.
  • Put flood vents in garages, basements, and other enclosed spaces. Vents enable water to go through a house or crawlspace as opposed to accumulating and pressing against windows and walls, which might cause significant structural damage.

More Expensive Alternatives

  • Use concrete blocks or stilts to raise your home’s lowest level over the BFE, or move it to a higher location altogether. Elevating your property can reduce your flood insurance costs while also defending it against the possibility of future flood levels. 
  • Your HVAC system, other necessary appliances, electrical systems, and utilities should be elevated or flood-proofed above the BFE. By doing this, you may help keep repair costs down and guarantee that this crucial equipment will work in a flood.
  • Create foundation vents to let water pass through spaces that aren’t utilized as homes, such the basement. This lowers the potential of structural damage by allowing hydrostatic pressures within the home to level with flood waters outside.
  • If water collects in your home, install a sump pump to drain it. An artificial pit called a “sump” is built in your basement or crawl area to collect water and house a sump pump. A discharge line can be used by the pump to automatically detect increasing water and remove it.
  • To protect utilities, window wells, or staircases from low level flooding, install an outside floodwall. Make care to anchor the structure to the footing and build it out of concrete or brick.
  • Install a backflow check valve on your sewage or storm drain connection and maintain it frequently to avoid backflow during flooding. This lessens the risk of house flooding during a storm.
  • Examine your possibilities for land grading, especially if you want to build new. Through land grading, water may be properly directed away from your house or other structure. Swales are a very efficient way to use landscaping to divert water.
  • Use non-corrosive metal structural supports and bolts to firmly anchor your gasoline tank. Fuel tanks may flip over or float as a result of flood floods, which might cause spills or fires.

Community Readiness

The majority of the most significant flood control measures may be implemented at the local level. Community-wide flood risk reduction initiatives, such as ecosystem restoration and preservation and the addition of green space to enhance water retention, can significantly reduce a region’s flood risk.

Your community’s readiness for floods is improved by developing a flood strategy and making investments in flood mitigation for your property. Additionally, people can take steps to ease the burden on communal resources during storms. These community-wide initiatives can alter how a flood affects your house. Reduce the quantity of storm water that you discharge into the public sewage system, for instance. The likelihood that the community drainage system may fail increases as system stress increases. The more stress placed on the system, the greater chances that the community drainage system will get overwhelmed and cause flooding.

Required Flood Mitigation

Homeowners, renters, and business owners can all obtain flood insurance via the National Flood Insurance Program, which is funded by the federal government. Every high-risk location is required to get flood insurance. Additionally, they promote the usage of flood mitigation strategies by homeowners. Planning for floods as a community is worthwhile since using flood insurance and implementing floodplain management regulations has helped to save the cost of flood damage by approximately $1 billion a year nationally.

Your property may be located in an area where flooding is likely to cause significant or recurring damage, according to local officials. In this situation, you could be compelled to make structural improvements to your house in order to comply with floodplain management laws. In this situation, you might be able to get up to $30,000 in financial support for flood mitigation measures by using a policy called Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC).

Recovering From Flood Damage

Even if your house has survived a flood, it’s crucial to take precautions to protect your family and home while cleaning up. Approaching your house should be done with caution. Electrical dangers, structural damage, and falling objects all present a threat to you. Flood waters may have dumped dangerous substances like chemicals and oil due to flooding. Additionally, carpets and other porous surfaces may develop biological risks including mold, mildew, germs, and viruses if standing water is present for longer than 24 hours. Take pictures of any outside and interior structural and personal property damage if you intend to file an insurance claim.


Flooding can occur in practically any location. Therefore, it’s crucial to combine mitigation efforts with insurance coverage to safeguard yourself against the increased danger of flooding brought on by climate change. Learn to defend your property against different types of extreme climate risk because homes are frequently impacted by many types of extreme weather throughout the year.

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