Understanding Types of Floodplains & How to Prepare for Floods

Because not all types of flood dangers are equally probable everywhere, effectively preparing for a flood involves making provisions for the most likely event in your specific locale. Gain a clearer perspective on your relative risk by checking the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) website for maps that show flood potential as well as the most likely source of flooding.

Typical types of floods include:

  • Overbank flooding. The consequence of a river filled beyond its normal boundaries due to heavy rain or snow melt. Often water rises slowly and authorities can predict the time of flooding and areas likely to be affected. Standing water typically persists for an extended period afterward.
  • Flash floods. These rapidly-developing, fast-moving events offer little or no warning. A flash flood can occur within minutes of the initiating storm. Fast moving water—10 miles per hour is typical—is especially damaging to structures and dangerous to life.
  • Ice jams. Common only in cold climates, ice blocks carried by a river forms a blockade that impedes the flow of water. This forces water over the riverbanks and floods local areas.
  • Coastal flooding. Associated with tropical storms and hurricanes, these events send a swell of water up to 25 feet above normal tide ashore and swamp populated areas. Breaking waves accompanying the event also damage local infrastructure.

To minimize the impact and aftermath:

  • Inventory valuables for insurance purposes. Keep extra copies of important documents in secure locations.
  • Prepare your house. Before flooding threatens, install a sump pump and place electrical outlets, circuit breakers, and other components above expected flood level. When flooding is imminent, unplug major appliances and HVAC equipment and place them on raised concrete blocks.
  • Agree on a family emergency plan and evacuation strategy beforehand.

For more tips on preparing for a flood, contact Rytech, Inc.

Tags: , , , ,

Return to the Blog Home Page