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FZC provides these tips to help you decrease flood risk on your property and save money! Flood mitigation measures minimize your property’s flood risk, the threat of damage and add value to the building or home.

Awareness of a property’s flood risk and being proactive in mitigation measures will change future outcomes.


On a property designed to mitigate flood risk, the land slopes downhill away from the structure. This helps water flow to areas on the property where it may reside until taken away by the drainage system, absorbed by the soil or evaporate over time. The goal is to not allow water to pond up next to the structure or to flow into the structure, where the water would cause damage. Therefore, when landscaping your property, make sure you do not alter the land in a way that would cause water to pond up next to the structure or flow water into the structure. For example, to create privacy, use eureka palm trees, ficus hedge or other greenery, instead of building a berm (a small area of raised ground). Creating a berm increases flood risk by allowing water to generate velocity running down the berm towards the structure, while greenery can be planted in a way to allow water to pond up at the base of the plants or flow past the plants to the lowest part of the property and away from the structure.

Keep Storm Drains Clear

To mitigate the risk of flooding, it is imperative that property owners keep storm drains clear. Landscaping debris, such as leaves, branches and grass clippings, as well as, other materials can clog storm drains that keep your building or home safe from floodwaters. When the drains clog or materials block the flow of water into the drains, water has nowhere to go but up, resulting in street, lawn and possible building or home flooding. Property owners should regularly check storm drains on and near their properties to make sure they are clear. The path of water to storm drains should also be checked to make sure that water is free to flow toward and into the drains. Failure to keep storm drains clear completely changes the flood risk of the property. Even low-risk buildings that were built responsibly to protect against flooding become high-risk when drainage systems are impaired.


FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and local building officials work hard to develop building codes that reduce the risk of flood damage. Before enclosing non-living/working areas of a building, a property owner should meet with local building officials to ensure that the proposed enclosure will be safe from flooding. Patios, garages, balconies and other non-living/working areas are not designed to protect against flooding as much as planned living/working areas.

If the building is post and beam construction (commonly referenced as on stilts), do not convert the open area underneath the living/working area into additional living/working space without checking with local building officials. Most likely, the area beneath the living/working area is open to allow water to pond up or to flow freely under the structure. An open area converted to living/working space may block the flow of water. This presents an increased risk of flooding in the new living/working area, and worse, damaging the entire structure, particularly during heavy rainstorms.

The best advice for property owners is to ensure that proposed enclosures or other alterations meet local floodplain regulations.

Special note for residential property owners: We welcome you to our site and your interest in flood risk. Please be advised that at this time, our services are limited to commercial properties, condominium associations, as well as, related third parties.