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Disaster Mitigation Resources

Release Date

The resources on this page provide risk reduction, disaster recovery and flood insurance information to those interested in learning how to prepare for future flooding and wind events.

Before, During & After a Flood or Wind Event

  • Learn how to create a family emergency plan for a flood.
  • Learn what items to include in your emergency supply kit to keep you and your family safe.
  • Read safety tips on what to do before, during and after a flood. 
  • How to Prepare for a Flood explains how to protect yourself and your property, and details the steps to take now so that you can act quickly when you, your home, or your business is in danger.
  • Check out our Flood Fact Sheet on knowing your risk, preparing your home and steps to take after a flood.

Flood Insurance

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically. For more information, visit www.FloodSmart.gov.

Why Buy Flood InsuranceNo home is completely safe from potential flooding. Flood insurance can be the difference between recovering and being financially devastated. Floods can happen anywhere--More than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside the high risk flood zone. Check out The Big Cost of Flooding.You may also want to get the facts about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in the brochure, Myths and Facts about the NFIP.

How Do I File My Flood Insurance Claim?

Important information on what you need to know about filing a flood insurance claim, tips on what you can do and need to know before your flood insurance adjuster visits your property and the other visitors you can expect at your property. National Flood Insurance Program. How to file a flood insurance claim. Report your loss to your insurance agent ASAP. Within 24-48 hours, an adjuster will call you to schedule an appointment. Tip: Photograph and move water-damaged items outside (to prevent mold), but don’t have them hauled away until an adjuster sees them. During the adjuster’s visit: The adjuster will: • Have official identification. • Take measurements and photos, and note direct flood damage. • Provide you with a local contact if any additional visits are needed. • Provide you with a flood certification number. • Provide you a suggested Proof of Loss, based on the assessment. The adjuster will not: • Approve or disapprove claims. • Tell you whether your claim will be approved. • Your policy number, insurance company info, and best way to be reached.• Lots of photos of your damaged property.• Documents related to damaged property. (i.e., contractors’ estimates, receipts). • Samples or swatches of carpeting, wallpaper, furniture upholstery, and window treatments. Be ready with: • Documents related to damaged property (i.e., contractors’ estimates, receipts, photos). • Your policy number and insurance company info. You can request an advance or partial payment, if needed. Submit the Proof of Loss: Review, sign, and send the Proof of Loss to your insurance company within 60 days after the loss. Request for Additional Payment: If you discover additional damage after filing your claim, or repairs cost more than estimated, you can file for additional payment. Contact your adjuster or insurance agent to start the process. Payment of Claims: Checks for building property are made out to the mortgage holder’s name.

Additional Flood Claim Resources

Resources for Insurance Agents

Flood Damage Reduction- DIY

Mitigation is the effort to reduce the loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Stated plainly, mitigation can keep natural hazards, like flooding and hurricanes, from having catastrophic impacts.

Mitigation reduces a property’s risk to future events and allows residents to return home more quickly, with less damage, after an event. While it may involve a larger initial investment, mitigation pays off in the long run. In fact, estimates indicate that on average, for every $1 spent on mitigation, $4 are saved from future losses.The benefits of flood mitigation go beyond dollars and cents. The Economist Intelligence Unit found that investment to make homes and infrastructure more flood-proof returns positive economic, environmental, and social benefits for communities.

There are a wide range of options for protecting your home from flood and events through mitigation. Most of these actions, especially those that affect the structure of your building or their utility systems, should be carried out by qualified maintenance staff or professional contractors licensed to work in your state, county, or city. One example of flood protection is using flood-resistant construction materials.

  • Check out these flood fact sheets on specific ways you can mitigate and protect your property from flooding.
  • Learn more about low-cost projects you can do yourself to protect your home from flooding.

A FEMA graphic explaining five things people can do in order to reduce their flood risk.

Recovering from Tornado and Wind Events

Included below are links to publications that will help you prepare for and mitigate against wind hazards. Some publications are developed by FEMA Building Sciences Branch and offers technical guidance and tools about building stronger and reducing risks related to damaging wind events.

Wind Retrofit Guide for Residential Buildings (FEMA P-804, December 2010) The purpose of this Guide is to provide guidance on how to improve the wind resistance of existing residential buildings in Mississippi and across the Gulf Coast. Although this Guide was developed to support initiatives in the Gulf Coast region, the content of this document should serve as guidance on retrofitting existing buildings for improved performance during high-wind events in all coastal regions.

Protect Your Property from High Winds (April 2011) This series of 8 flyers describes actions you can take to protect your property from high winds, including inspecting and maintaining your building and installing protective devices. Most of these actions, especially those that affect the exterior shell of your building, should be carried out by qualified maintenance staff or professional contractors licensed to work in your state, county, or city.

FEMA P-431, Tornado Protection: Selecting Refuge Areas in Buildings (Second Edition, October 2009) This booklet presents information that will aid qualified architects and engineers in the identification of the best available refuge areas in existing buildings. The Best Available Refuge Area (BARA) Checklist may also be downloaded from the link on this page.

FEMA 543, Design Guide for Improving Critical Facility Safety from Flooding and High Winds (January 2007) This manual concentrates on critical facilities (hospitals, schools, fire and police stations, and emergency operation centers). It is based on the behavior of critical facilities during Hurricane Katrina and makes recommendations on the performance of these types of buildings. It provides building professionals and decisionmakers with information and guidelines for implementing a variety of mitigation measures to reduce the vulnerability to damage and disruption of operations during severe flooding and high-wind events.

Disaster Assistance

Immediate Needs

Our disaster assistance partners can provide help with immediate needs FEMA is not authorized to provide.

Federally Declared Disaster

FEMA Disaster Assistance can help support your recovery from a major disaster. If you're ready to apply now for disaster assistance or would like more information on the types of assistance available please visit disasterassistance.gov.  Not sure if you are in an area declared for disaster assistance?  Visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov and enter your address to find out if your area is declared for Individual Assistance.

Community Education and Outreach Publication List

Flood Insurance

Mitigation Techniques

Resources for State, Local Officials and insurance Agents

State of Illinois Resources

State of Indiana Resources

State of Michigan Resources

State of Minnesota Resources

State of Ohio Resources

State of Wisconsin Resources


Last updated March 17, 2021