Are You at Risk for Flooding Caused by Severe Weather?

flooding from severe weatherFlooding in homes is most often caused by severe weather and can lead to serious water damage. Due to weather conditions and many other factors, people who live in some areas are at a higher risk for flooding than others. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to check your flood risk and know if it is worth your time, effort, and money to take precautions against a flood.

3 Steps to Check Your Flood Risk

  1. Get a flood map from FEMA. You may be able to find one for your area on their website, or you can call the local emergency management office to get one. For example, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has worked with FEMA to put together flood maps for the Janesville, WI, area. A flood map will be able to tell you whether you are in a high-risk area or a moderate- to low-risk area.
  2. Find out what the base flood elevation is for your area. This will tell you the elevation at which you should be prepared for that area to flood. There is only a very small chance that the flood will actually meet that level, but preparing for this is still highly recommended. It is also recommended that you keep your home at least three feet above this level, so compare the elevation at the base of your home to the base flood elevation.
  3. Consider other factors around your home. Small things can make a difference in less severe weather, such as the direction the ground around your home is sloped and how the ground impacts the flow of water. It can help to wait for a rainstorm and look at where and how the water flows. If the rainwater gathers anywhere near your home, you'll want to take steps to direct it away from your home to help prevent damage from flood waters.
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