Finding Flood Solutions

Although flood risks can never be completely eliminated, there are solutions to reduce risk.

Adaptation at the local, state, and federal levels is often more effective and cost-efficient than individual efforts, but each plays an important role in reducing physical and financial flood risks.

Protecting your home

Solutions to protect your home vary in terms of cost, effort, time to implement, and effectiveness. Individuals can also ask local officials to find solutions and support measures that reduce risk and lower flood insurance costs.

Explore individual Solutions

Structural options can help flood-proof a home to mitigate physical damage, or make a property more absorbent to reduce runoff and prevent flooding.

Elevate home

Retrofitting a home by elevating it above the height of most flood levels requires a large financial investment but can lead to a significant reduction in flood insurance premiums.

 

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Flood insurance

Flood insurance reduces financial risk and allows you to recover more quickly and completely after a flood. Homeowners, renters, and businesses can reduce the financial impact of flood damage by purchasing flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and private insurers.

Protecting your community

Effective flood risk management is collaborative, future-facing, and considers local needs. Resilient communities prioritize and invest in natural resources, engineered solutions, and insurance to withstand and recover from floods.

Explore local planning and regulations

Planning for flooding helps communities reduce the number of people and buildings at risk and lower insurance costs.

Limited floodplain development

Floodplain ordinances can limit or prohibit development in flood-prone areas to help reduce the number of homes and businesses at risk of flooding.

 

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Enforced building codes

Ensure that structures meet building standards like lowest elevation and adequate drainage to limit the impact of floods when they occur.

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Stormwater management plans

Create municipal standards for stormwater systems in order to reduce the flood impact of stormwater runoff.

 

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NFIP’s Community Rating System (CRS)

The National Flood Insurance Program rewards communities that invest in flood risk reduction measures by lowering the cost of flood insurance premiums.

 

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Explore structural improvements

Engineered structures and urban design help to reduce the impact of flooding.

Removal of structures from floodplains

Relocating high-risk homes, businesses, or neighborhoods prevents those structures from flooding and helps reduce risks for those that remain.

 

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Improved stormwater drainage systems

Investing in upgrades to aging and overloaded stormwater systems can allow water to be moved, stored, and drained more efficiently.

 

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Flood control measures

Flood control infrastructure, such as levees, seawalls, and tide gates, work as physical barriers to prevent areas from flooding. Other measures, such as pump stations and channels, help reduce flooding.

 

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Elevated roads and bridges

Raising roads and bridges can help drain water, limit runoff, and reduce flooding.

 

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Explore nature-based infrastructure

Restoring and protecting ecosystems and creating new green space can prevent flooding by improving water retention.

Open spaces

Parks and preserves provide areas for managed flooding that reduce the flood risk for homes and businesses surrounding them.

 

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Living shorelines

Natural infrastructure such as barrier islands, oyster and coral reefs act as buffers against storm surge and can help prevent coastal erosion.

 

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Restoring and preserving natural drainage systems

Creating and restoring marsh and wetlands provides areas for water to be stored, therefore reducing flooding.

 

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Green infrastructure

Rain gardens, bioswales, and permeable pavement reduce flash flooding by collecting rainwater and allowing time for the water to be absorbed or carried away.

 

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Being prepared brings peace of mind.

According to the National Institute of Building Sciences, every $1 spent on flood risk reduction saves $7 on future disaster losses. Smart planning saves lives and can minimize the impact and cost of flooding.

 

Review ways to reduce risk

Personal

  • Find Your Flood Factor
  • Learn Local Risks and Plans
  • Consider Flood Insurance
  • Prepare Financially
  • Flood-Proof Home
  • Make Property More Absorbent
  • Consider Relocating

Community

  • Assess Short and Long Term Risks
  • Create a Plan to Address Existing Flooding
  • Find Ways to Future-Proof Community
  • Prioritize and Invest in Flood Risk Reduction
  • Protect and Develop Natural Infrastructure
  • Set Resilient Development Standards
  • Consider Removing Buildings In Floodplains

Why are flood risk increasing?

A changing environment means higher seas, new weather patterns, and stronger storms.

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