Flood Damage Prevention Tips and Resources

Flood Damage Prevention Tips and Resources

Know the flood hazard

• Knowing the hazard level allows preparation ahead of time.

• To find out if a home is located in a regulated floodplain or is adjacent to a regulated floodplain, search for the property using the North Carolina Flood Risk Information System here.

Be prepared to protect life and property

• Know how to shut off the electricity and gas in the house.

• Make an emergency contact list.

• 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. A template plan is available here.

• Visit Ready.gov to learn how to be prepared before, during and after a flooding event.

Learn about flood safety when driving and the “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” campaign.

Build responsibly; consider permanent flood protection measures

• Consider elevating the house above base flood levels if it isn’t already elevated.

• 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 to prevent sewer backup and flooding.

• Use only licensed contractors who know the rules for flood damage prevention construction standards.

• 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 Staff at 704-920-2128 before starting any work.

• Some flood protection measures require zoning permits. Be sure to consult with Zoning Staff 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 the Ready.gov website

Invest in a flood insurance policy to minimize financial impact

• Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from floods.

• Since Cabarrus County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, you are eligible to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. This insurance is backed by the Federal Government and is available to everyone, even properties that have been flooded in the past. Cabarrus County also participates in the Community Rating System Program, which allows you to receive a reduction in the insurance premium.

• Some people have purchased flood insurance because it was required by the bank when they financed a mortgage or home improvement loan. Usually, these policies cover the structure, but not the contents. During the kind of flooding that happens in this area, damage to furniture and contents is also 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.  

• In most cases, there is a 30-day waiting period before National Flood Insurance Program coverage takes effect.

• Contact an insurance agent for more information on rates and coverage.

Seek technical help for ways to mitigate impact to property

• Purchasing flood insurance will help pay for repairs after a flood. In some cases, it will also help pay the costs of elevating a substantially damaged building.

• Always check with Cabarrus County prior to altering or building any new structures so you know what type of permits will be needed and the type of construction required.

Protect the natural floodplains

• 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 can cause flooding.

• Sedimentation is the number one pollutant in our streams and rivers. Riparian buffers should be left along rivers and streams to allow filtration and dissipation before runoff reaches the stream.

• Dumping chemicals, paint, yard waste or debris into storm drains should be avoided as 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 and to monitor developing weather

Sign up to receive information directly from Cabarrus County Government Officials.

• Follow Cabarrus County Government on Twitter @CabarrusCounty or Cabarrus County Emergency Management @CabCoEm.

Participate in the Emergency Alert System to receive text message alerts on your cell phone.

Like the Ready.gov Facebook page to receive information and tips directly or follow on Twitter @Readygov.

Like the NC Emergency Facebook page page to receive updates directly from North Carolina Emergency Management or follow on Twitter @NCEmergency.

Available Resources

Did you know that there are excellent mapping and identification resources readily available on the Internet?

Did you know that Cabarrus County has information available locally regarding Flood Insurance Rate Maps, rules for building in the floodplain and protecting property from flood damage?

Here are some local resources and where to find them:

  • Adopted FEMA FIRMs are available at the Cabarrus County Governmental Center (65 Church St. S., Concord) in the Planning and Development Department during normal business hours.
  • Publications related to flooding, construction and living near rivers, streams and floodplains are available at the Cabarrus County Governmental Center. The Cabarrus County Library Concord Branch also has materials available for check out.
  • FEMA elevation certificates for buildings constructed in the floodplain (in unincorporated Cabarrus County) are available in the Planning and Development Department for review during normal business hours.
  • The North Carolina Building Code,which regulates local construction, incorporates flood-resistant standards for residential and commercial development.  
  • Cabarrus County Planning and Zoning staff can assist you with property inquiries.
  • Cabarrus County Construction Standards staff can help you with questions about the building code and technical construction standards.

Additional tips and resources

Ways to stay informed about weather that may cause flooding: 

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