FEMA’s 2017 preliminary FIRMs may change your property’s flood risk which could affect your flood insurance rates and purchase requirements once these new FIRMs become effective. Building and construction requirements for your property could be affected as well. Be involved in the mapping process so that you understand the changes and how you may be impacted.
After the FIRMs are finalized…
Take measures to protect yourself from future flooding, such as:
- Buy Flood Insurance – remember that flooding can happen anywhere it rains
- Review: Answers to Questions About the National Flood Insurance Program
- Visit floodsmart.gov or contact your insurance agent; ‘Preferred Risk Policies’ are available at a discounted rate for properties not located in a high risk flood zone.
- You may also want to read about recent flood insurance reform legislation and how it affects certain policyholders.
- Make changes to your home or business, such as retro-fitting. Some resources:
Protecting your home from flooding doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Here are examples of some simple changes that can make a big difference:
- Use flood damage resistant materials for walls, floors, and other parts of a building that are below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).
- Improve drainage and reduce excess rainwater– Drains that get blocked and rainwater that is not absorbed into the ground can cause flooding. Install gutters and downspouts; use gravel, pavers or grass for parking areas, driveways, and patios; add plants and trees to your property; and clear brush and trash away from drains.
- Raise utility systems and appliances– elevate the main breaker or fuse box and meters, air-conditioning units, furnace, water heaters or other heavy appliances that could be damaged during a flood.
- Install sewer backflow valves or check valves to protect buildings from sewage backups.
- Anchor fuel tanks. Unanchored fuel tanks can easily be moved by flood waters which can pose a serious threat to you and your property.
Remember, before making changes to your property, contact your municipal officials to make sure you understand any building and permitting requirements that will apply. They can also provide information about federal and state grants and funding which may be available to help you too.