Prevent Flood Damage With Smart Rebuilding Tips

Main Content
Release date: 
June 21, 2010
Release Number: 

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- As part of the recovery process, Kentuckians can use proven rebuilding techniques to protect their homes and property from future damage. The best way to minimize damage from severe storms and break the expensive damage-repair-damage cycle is to use flood-resistant repair methods. Many of these methods can be put in place inexpensively. Some require more of an investment.

Commonwealth and federal emergency management officials suggest everyone, even those who did not experience damage from the most recent storm, consider using the following flood damage prevention tips:

  • Install a sewer backflow valve to prevent sewage from backing up into the house.
  • Elevate water heaters, furnaces, washers and dryers at least six inches above basement floors or move them to an upper floor. Use a licensed contractor when making plumbing or electrical changes.
  • Raise electrical panel boxes, switches, and outlets at least one foot above the 100-year flood level. For help in determining the 100-year flood level in your area, check with local officials. 
  • Cut drywall to at least one-half inch above the floor, especially in basements. Concrete floors commonly absorb ground moisture which travels up the wallboard allowing mold to grow unseen within the walls. Seal the gap between the wallboard and the floor with wood or rubberized floor trim.
  • Anchor a fuel tank by securing it to a large concrete slab or to ground anchors using metal straps.
  • Add waterproof veneer to exterior walls and seal all openings, including doors.
  • Use flood-resistant building materials – materials that can withstand direct contact with floodwaters for at least 72 hours without being significantly damaged. These building materials are available at many home improvement stores.
  • Build interior and exterior floodwalls. A watertight masonry floodwall can be constructed to enclose furnaces, utilities and appliances on the lowest floor of the building. On the outside, a similar wall could be constructed around the perimeter of the basement opening to keep water from entering.

For additional information on preventing flood damage, go to

Additional information about this disaster is available at and

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

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