Is your Virginia or Maryland town one of the more than 20,000 communities in the U.S. situated in a FEMA-designated flood zone? In the U.S. this year alone, homeowners across the east coast have been impacted by flooding due to high rainfall, hurricanes, and winter storms. As the number of damaging weather events increases throughout the country, it’s important to understand how to protect your home against flood damage. As the risk of catastrophic flooding and other weather-related events increase in the U.S., including from major hurricanes on the east coast, creating an emergency preparedness kit and evacuation plan is essential.
As you may have read in the news this past year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has measured a sea-level rise of eight to nine inches since 1880, and the rate of increase is getting greater each year. One result of warming sea temperatures, coastal flooding is on the rise too. For U.S. homeowners, including in cities like Virginia Beach, VA, and Outer Banks, NC, the effects are very real and already causing damage to homes and businesses.
If you live in a coastal area already experiencing flooding from storm surge, or if you live within a designated flood zone, you must prepare today to protect your home, family, and property in the future. Floodproofing your home and creating an emergency preparedness plan are steps you can take today to reduce the costly effects of flooding in the future.
Virginia and North Carolina Residents Impacted by Rising Flood Risk
Research from Climate Central shows that more than 14 million homes and other buildings in the U.S. are at risk from a 100-year flood event. As sea and river levels continue to rise, 40% of residents in the U.S. who live in cities and suburban areas are being impacted by coastal flooding. The conditions needed to cause major flood conditions are occurring at a rate of 300% to 900% more often than they did just 50 years ago, according to the Climate Central research report. In addition, flooding from high-tide conditions is also occurring 300% to 900% more often.
The U.S. cities most at risk for flooding in the next 50 years identified by Climate Central include Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, and even closer to home, Virginia Beach.
Protecting Cities From Future Flood Risk
Especially in coastal areas of the U.S., city officials are planning now for an increased flood risk in the future. As sea levels continue to rise at increasing rates each year, planning now for the future of flood management is becoming increasingly important. Cities like Miami, New Orleans, and Boston are leading the way, spurred by city planners, homeowners, and environmental leaders who want to protect coastal areas for future generations.
Florida officials are working together to save the Everglades and protect homes throughout south Florida’s major residential areas. Hurricanes continue to affect residents and cause flooding throughout the state at alarming rates. Coupled with rising sea levels, the threat is very real for many Florida residents. New Orleans has also been impacted by hurricanes and extensive flooding throughout the city due to storm surge. In response, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created a system of levees and floodwalls to fight rising waters and future storms. In Boston, city planners are looking long term and redesigning parks and living areas to protect the natural habitats needed to reduce storm surge effects and flooding impacts.
Protecting Virginia and North Carolina Homes from Flooding
Homeowners in Virginia and North Carolina cannot depend just on city and federal planning efforts to reduce the effects of sea-level rise. As flooding continues to impact homeowners across the U.S., everyone should identify whether their own home could be impacted by flooding and plan accordingly. First, identify whether flood insurance for your home is needed and available in your area.
In addition, Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) guidance for protecting homes against flooding includes:
- Installing flood-resistant carpet and flooring
- Reinforcing garage doors and roofs against wind damage
- Adding hurricane shutters for wind and water protection
- Moving HVAC and electrical systems above the flood line
Protecting Your Home’s Foundation From Flood Damages
One of the most expensive home repairs caused by flood damage is foundation repairs. To reduce the chance of flooding impacting your home’s foundation, consider these basement or crawl space protections:
- Professional waterproofing of your basement or crawl space
- Installation of interior drainage
- Installation of a sump pump powered by a backup battery
- Professional crawl space encapsulation
- Adding wall flood vents and sewer backflow valves
A small investment in pre-emergency planning and professional floodproofing can save you from extensive post-flood repairs to your home and interior items. For a handy checklist of what to do after a flood to protect your home and safety, check out this article.
Create an Emergency Preparedness Plan Today
Finally, just as important as floodproofing your home is creating an emergency preparedness kit and plan, practicing that plan, and ensuring you know your closest emergency evacuation route. Don’t wait until an emergency happens, plan today to reduce the impacts to your home and family if an emergency occurs.
- Update and save property insurance policy information in a safe and waterproof location.
- Create an emergency kit with food, water, first aid supplies, a flashlight, and a radio.
- Build an evacuation plan and checklist of items to help you remember the safest evacuation route and what to take with you.
- When evacuating, turn off the power, gas, and water before you go.
For professional help identifying how to protect your home from increasing flood risk, contact JES Foundation Repair today. Our waterproofing experts will evaluate your home and provide you with a free estimate on repairs and a list of flood mitigation items to help you prepare for an emergency.