Every year, flooding causes more property damage in the United States than any other type of natural disaster. While recent construction practices and regulations have made new homes less prone to flooding, many existing structures remain susceptible.
Methods to Reduce Flooding
Throughout the country there is a growing interest from property owners to develop practical and cost effective methods for reducing or eliminating exposures to flooding.
Retrofitting is a unique approach to reduce flooding because the property itself remains subject to flooding while the building is modified to prevent or minimize flooding of habitable space. There are several recognizable approaches to retrofitting:
- Elevation of the structure above flood protection levels
- Construction of barriers (flood walls, berms, etc.)
- Dry flood proofing (water-tight floor and wall systems)
- Wet flood proofing (constructing the flood prone areas so as to permit the entry and passage of flood waters and removing or relocating items of value to higher elevation levels
- Maintaining approved slopes on lakes and waterways
In the event of pending flood threats, it is always advisable to take the following emergency actions:
- Sand bagging to reduce erosion and scouring
- Elevate furniture above flood protection levels
- Create floodway openings in non-habitable areas such as garage doors
- Seal off sewer lines to the dwelling to prevent the backflow of sewer waters
Publications and assistance in property protection are available from the City of Pembroke Pines Environmental Services Division. Valuable information on flood protection is also available on the FEMA website