Spring Thaw: During the spring, frozen land prevents melting snow or rainfall from seeping into the ground. Each cubic foot of compacted snow contains gallons of water and once the snow melts, it can result in the overflow of streams, rivers, and lakes. Add spring storms to that and the result is often serious spring flooding.
Heavy Rains: This excessive amount of rainfall can happen throughout the year, putting your property at risk.
Levees & Dams: Levees are designed to protect against a certain level of flooding. However, levees can and do decay over time, making maintenance a serious challenge. Levees can also be overtopped, or even fail during large floods, creating more damage than if the levee wasn't even there. Because of the escalating flood risks in areas with levees, especially in the mid-west, FEMA strongly recommends flood insurance for all homeowners in these areas.
Flash Floods: Flash floods are the #1 weather-related killer in the U.S. since they can roll boulders, tear out trees, and destroy buildings and bridges. A flash flood is a rapid flooding of low-lying areas in less than six hours, which is caused by intense rainfall from a thunderstorm or several thunderstorms. Flash floods can also occur from the collapse of a man-made structure or ice dam.
New Development: Construction and development can change the natural drainage and create brand new flood risks. That's because new buildings, parking lots, and roads mean less land to absorb excess precipitation from heavy rains.
Know Your Risks, Know Your Safety
- Find out if your home is at risk for flood and educate yourself on the impact a flood could have on you and your family. FEMA's Flood Insurance Study compiled statistical data on river flows, storm tides, hydrologic/hydraulic analyses, and rainfall and topographic surveys to create flood hazard maps that outline your community's different flood risk areas.
- Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Talk to your insurance provider about your policy and consider if you need additional coverage.
Prepare Your Home
- The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can help provide a means for property owners to financially protect themselves if additional coverage is required. The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. To find out more about the NFIP visit www.FloodSmart.gov.
- Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk.
- Consider installing "check valves" to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
- If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.
Prepare Your Business
- Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency by visiting www.FoodSafety.gov
Plan to stay in business, talk to your employees, and protect your investment.
- Carefully assess how your company functions, both internally and externally, to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating.
- Identify operations critical to survival and recovery.
- Plan what you will do if your building, plant or store is not accessible.
- Consider if you can run the business from a different location or from your home.
Federal, State and National Resources
- Develop relationships with other companies to use their facilities in case a disaster makes your location unusable.
Find additional information on how to plan and prepare for floods, what to do during and after a flood and learn about available resources by visiting the following: