Flood Damage Prevention Tips and Tools

Know The Flood Hazard to prepare ahead of time

Be Prepared to Protect Life and Property

  • Know how to shut off the electricity and gas in the house.
  • Make an emergency contact list and inventory household items, especially basement contents.
  • Identify a safe place to go in the event of flooding.
  • Inventory household items, especially basement contents.
  • Store valuables, insurance policies and important documents in a waterproof container, preferably upstairs.
  • Mark the fuse or breaker box to show the circuits to flood prone areas of the home.
  • Turn off the power to the basement in a flooding event. This can reduce property damage and save lives.
  • Store cleaning supplies, a camera, waterproof boots, etc. in a waterproof container.
  • Develop a family emergency plan and identify a safe place to go in the event of flooding. Template Plan
  • Visit Ready.gov to learn how to be prepared before, during and after a flooding event.
  • Do not drive on roads that are closed due to flooding or are flooded! Learn about flood safety when driving and the “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” campaign.
  • View low-cost options to reduce the risk for residential buildings and protect your home from flooding ahead of time.

Build Responsibly; Consider Permanent Flood Protection Measures

  • Consider elevating the house above the regulatory flood protection elevation levels. Install flood vents. 
  • Check the building for water entry points. These can be basement windows, stairwells, doors or dryer vents. Protect these areas with low walls or temporary shields.
  • Install one of the following to prevent sewer backup and flooding:
    • floor drain plug
    • standpipe
    • overhead sewer
    • sewer backup valve
  • Use only licensed contractors who know flood damage prevention construction standards rules.
  • Don’t build or grade within 10 feet of a property line so that the drainage isn’t altered between homes.
  • Some flood protection measures require building permits. Others may not be appropriate for the type of building. Be sure to consult Construction Standards Staff at 704-920-2128 before starting any work. Make sure downspouts drain away from the house to protect the basement from flooding.
  • All development in the regulated floodplain requires local floodplain development permitting. Be sure to consult with Zoning Staff at 704-920-2141 before starting any work. Illegal development in the floodplain should be reported to the same number.

Get Flood Insurance to Minimize Financial Loss after a Flooding Event

  • Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from flood. 
  • Cabarrus County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. Therefore, residents are eligible to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. This insurance is backed by the Federal Government. It is available to everyone, even properties that have been flooded in the past. Cabarrus County also participates in the Community Rating System Program. The County has a rating of 8, which allows you to receive a reduction in the insurance premium.
  • Flood policies typically cover the structure and not the contents. During the kind of flooding that happens in this area, damage to furniture and contents is likely. Be sure to speak with an insurance agent about content coverage. This should apply to your home or if you are renting near the floodplain.
  • Don’t wait for the next flood to buy insurance protection. In most cases, there is a 30-day waiting period for insurance coverage to take effect. This is the case with the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Contact an insurance agent for more information on rates and coverage.

Seek Technical Help for Ways to Mitigate Impact to Property

Protect the Natural Floodplains So They Can Function Properly

  • Natural floodplain areas should be protected and remain undisturbed.
  • Alternate building site locations should be considered before developing in the floodplain.
  • Floodplain areas should not be used as dumping grounds for yard waste or debris. These items make their way to the stream beds and cause flooding.
  • Sedimentation is the number one pollutant in our streams and rivers. Riparian buffers should be left along rivers and streams. This allows filtration and dissipation before runoff reaches the stream.
  • Dumping chemicals, paint, yard waste or debris into storm drains should be avoided. These waters make their way to the streams and floodplains. It can block the drains and cause urban flooding.

Use Social Media to Stay Informed About Weather that Causes Floods