Hazard Mitigation: Reduce Future Flood Losses In The Home

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Release date: 
July 2, 2001
Release Number: 

Philadelphia, PA -- As flood victims recover from the flooding, more than 1600 have registered for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster assistance. Those who are ready to rebuild or repair are asking about how to prevent future flood losses.

FEMA and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have prepared a series of hazard mitigation suggestions on what can be done to prevent or reduce future flood losses.

It is less expensive to protect your home and property before they are damaged than to repair them afterwards. "We want to break the damage-repair-damage cycle whenever feasible," said Peter Martinasco, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer.

"Flood victims can save lives and property if they rebuild and repair their homes sensibly," Karen Critchfield, State Coordinating Officer, said. "The local building permit officials have the information you need to make these 'preventive repairs' and to avoid costly mistakes."

Homeowners themselves can do many mitigation projects and most are relatively inexpensive. Protection measures may include:

  • Placing a floor drain plug in the basement drain;
  • Installing a sump pump;
  • Establishing grade sloping away from the home;
  • Extending drainpipes away from the home;
  • Installing window well covers;
  • Elevating storage shelving.

Other common sense measures that help prevent loss include:

  • Providing battery backup for your sump pump;
  • Installing sewage backflow valves;
  • Anchoring your fuel tank;
  • Elevating the heating system, electric panel, washer and dryer;
  • Elevating outside air conditioning compressor unit
  • Relocating heating and hot water systems;
  • Constructing an exterior floodwall around the perimeter of outside basement openings;
  • Constructing an interior floodwall to enclose utilities;
  • Building a French drain;
  • Filling-in your basement.

Local codes generally require permits for electrical work, plumbing, and structural repairs for damage such as foundations and exterior walls.


Flood recovery specialists from FEMA are available now at the Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) and will be in the future to provide homeowners, renters and business owners information on flood risks, flood damage reduction techniques and flood insurance. These DRCs are located at the Upper Moreland Middle School, 4000 Orangeman's Road, Hatboro; and the old "Home Place" store at the intersection of Street Road (Rt. 132) and Norristown Road. An appointment is not required to visit the DRC.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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