Flash Flooding is a natural disaster that is not limited by geography. Flooding will strike in deserts, rain forests, it hits populated areas, it hits out in the sticks, the mountains, and the valleys.
A particular danger of Flash floods is that they can develop very rapidly, often in just a few minutes and without any warning. Flash floods can be especially dangerous walls of roaring water carrying debris – even boulders, and can sweep away most things in their paths.
If you live near the water, in a low lying area, you need to be keenly aware of flash-flood danger. Very small streams, creeks, culverts, or even dry stream-beds that appear harmless in dry weather can flood, and it can happen fast.
Don’t live near low-lying waters (pretty obvious, but it’s amazing how much of populated areas are near or within flood zones of rivers, for example… that’s where the river commerce was, and still is for the most part).
If you already live in a flood zone, in an established neighborhood, there’s not much you can do in the way of major property prevention. Know the flooding history of your area. Be conscious of 1st floor and basement items becoming damaged or entirely ruined. If you have adequate warning you may be able to save some things, but the house and property itself will remain vulnerable.
For those well within flood zones, and with adequate land around the home, build (bull-doze) a sort of protective levee berm around the residence at some perimeter distance away. It could be designed or landscaped so as not to be objectionable.
Design the building on stilts, or at least at some height above ground level to minimize the risk of water damage.
Seal the foundation, or building, and use construction materials less susceptible to water damage.
Sump pumps for the basement.
What about flood insurance?
You can get flood insurance through private insurance agents, who get it underwritten through the National Flood Insurance Program
Even people living in high-risk areas have access to flood insurance. To get a mortgage to buy a home in certain FEMA designated flood zones will require you to purchase flood insurance.
Apparently, about one-quarter of flood damage claims come from areas that were not considered at high risk for floods. So, you may want to think seriously about flood insurance if you are at risk, because regular homeowners insurance policies don’t cover it.
Flood insurance works a little differently from your other insurance policies. I have read that if you have flood insurance, you are still required to make a claim against your homeowner’s policy (even though it doesn’t cover flooding). Then, once you get your denial letter, you can file your claim to your private flood insurance company or to the National Flood Insurance Program.
In summary, regarding natural disasters, FLOODING is the most likely overall. It can be completely devastating when it hits. Consider your vulnerability where you live, consider flood insurance protection. If you’re out hiking or camping, particularly in areas that are not very familiar to you, be sure you understand the risks in your area. A torrential thunderstorm 20 miles away could result in a torrential flash flood where you are, on a nice sunny warm day…
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