Flood Damage Prevention Tips

Know The Flood Hazard

Be Prepared to Protect Life and Property Ahead of Time

  • 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. A template plan is available at Make A Plan | Ready.gov.
  • Visit Ready.gov Floods to learn how to be prepared before, during and after a flooding event.
  • Do not drive on roads that have been closed due to flooding or that are flooded! Visit Turn Around Don't Drown (weather.gov).
  • Interested in low-cost options to reduce residential building risk and flooded homes? Visit Protect Your Home from Flooding - Low-cost Projects You Can Do Yourself.

Invest in a Flood Insurance Policy to Minimize Financial Impact if there is a Flooding Event

  • Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from floods. Did you know Cabarrus County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program? Therefore, you are eligible to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. This insurance is backed by the Federal Government and is available to everyone. This coverage is even available to properties that have been flooded in the past. Did you know Cabarrus County participates in the Community Rating System Program (CRS)? This program allows you to receive a reduction in the insurance premium.
  • Did you get Flood Insurance as a bank requirement for a mortgage or home improvement loan. Usually, these policies cover the structure and not the contents. The kind of flooding in this area makes damage to furniture and contents likely. Be sure to speak with an insurance agent about content coverage.
  • If a rental home is located in or near a flood hazard area, talk with an insurance agent about content coverage.
  • Don’t wait for the next flood to buy insurance protection. Insurance coverage does not go into effect immediately. There is a 30-day waiting period for National Flood Insurance Program coverage. Contact an insurance agent for more information on rates and coverage.

Seek Technical Assistance and Suggestions for Ways to Mitigate Impact to Individual Properties

  • Purchasing a flood insurance policy will help pay for repairs after a flood. In some cases, it will help pay the costs of elevating a substantially damaged building. Substantially damaged refers to cost. The expense of restoring a structure to its before damaged condition. The amount cannot equal or exceed 50% of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred. If it does, the structure is substantially damaged.
  • Check with Cabarrus County prior to altering or building any new structures. You'll want to know what type of permits will be needed and the type of construction required.

Protect the Natural Floodplains so they Function Properly

  • Natural floodplain areas should be protected and remain undisturbed.
  • Alternate building site locations should be considered before developing in the floodplain.
  • Floodplains areas should not be used as dumping grounds for yard waste or debris. These items make their way to the stream beds and can cause flooding.
  • Sedimentation is the number one pollutant in our streams, rivers and wetlands. Riparian buffers are required along rivers, streams and identified wetlands in unincorporated Cabarrus. These buffers allow filtration and dissipation before runoff reaches the stream or wetland. See Chapter 4 of the Development Ordinance for additional information on required buffers.
  • Dumping chemicals, paint, yard waste or debris into storm drains should be avoided. Storm drain waters make their way to the streams and floodplains. Waste and debris can block the drains and cause urban flooding.

Use Social Media Sites to Monitor Weather that may Cause Flooding or Flash Flooding

Build Responsibly and Consider Permanent Flood Protection Measures to Lower Flood Risk

  • Consider elevating the house above the regulatory flood protection elevation. This elevation level is BFE+2 feet.
  • 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 a floor drain plug, standpipe, overhead sewer or sewer backup valve. These devices prevent sewer backup and flooding.
  • Use only licensed contractors who know the rules for flood damage prevention.
  • 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 with Construction Standards at 704-920-2128 before starting any work.
  • Some flood protection measures require zoning permits. Be sure to consult with Zoning at 704-920-2141 before starting any work.
  • Make sure downspouts drain away from the house to protect the basement from flooding.
  • Additional information and resources are available at Ready.gov Floods.