Is Your Home in the Gulf Coast Ready for a Flood?

By MDay Photography at Shutterstock

The Gulf Coast is home to five states – Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. It stretches for a total of 17,141 miles of mostly tidal shoreline and ecosystems. Due to its geographical location, urban development in low-lying areas, and natural weather patterns, the Gulf Coast remains one of the most vulnerable areas for flooding in the entire United States. For over a decade, FEMA has watched the area closely and updated their flood studies for the entire coastline. If you have a home along the Gulf Coast, you may be at risk for flood damage.

Your Home’s Flood Risk

Between 1980 and 2013, flood damage resulted in over $260 billion in property damage. From 2006 to 2015, federal flood insurance claims averaged $1.9 billion annually. These figures do not include the damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, however. The statistics are likely far higher, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts.Unfortunately, the only safety measure against flooding is elevation. It’s a popular business here in Mississippi – elevation companies. It takes just a single inch of water inside of your home to cause significant water damage. As such, it’s important to know the flood level of your home. If you live in a flood zone, as per FEMA’s flood map, then you need both flood insurance and safeguards in place.

Protecting Your Home from Flooding

Depending on your flood zone, you may have an annual risk of flooding ranging from once every 500 years to once every 100 years. Now, once every 100 years doesn’t sound too terrible, but it’s actually one of the worst flood zones. You can protect your family, home, and possessions, though.

  • Electrical – If there are any switches, sockets, or circuit breakers dangerously low to the ground, consider hiring an electrician to raise them at least one foot above flood levels. You can also modify the furnace and water heater to be above flood level and anchored, too.
  • Anchoring – For any outdoor equipment, including air conditioning units and generators, you want to consider anchoring them and raising them above flood levels. These systems can break free from the strength of flood waters and contaminate the ground.
  • Grading – You can determine just how water flows around your home based on the grading or slope of the ground. If the slope is not ideal, you can install a drainage system to move water away from the house.
  • Retrofitting – If your property floods often, you may want to invest in retrofitting the property. You can raise the home on piers or columns, waterproof with foundation vents, and dry proof with coatings and sealants on the exterior walls.

If your home has recently flooded, call Restoration 1 of Gulf Coast. We provide emergency flood damage restoration and storm recovery services at any hour. When disaster strikes, pick up the phone and call 228-231-9745.