Overview of the Hazard
Anywhere it rains, it can flood. Floods are the inundation of a normally dry area caused by an increased water level in an established watercourse, such as a river, stream, drainage ditch, or ponding of water at or near the point where the rain fell. Flooding is one of Brevard’s most frequent and widespread weather-related natural hazards.
Flooding Quick Facts
- Flooding can occur from hurricanes, rapid accumulation of heavy rainfall, dam/levee breaks, storm surge, and outdated or clogged drainage systems. Flooding can range from just a few inches to several feet, and can occur quickly or last for a long period of time, such as days, weeks, or longer.
- Flash floods are the most dangerous kind of floods. This type of flooding causes a rapid rise of water in a short period of time, generally with little or no warning.
- As little as one foot of (moving) water can move most cars off the road
- Just six inches of fast-moving flood water can sweep you off your feet
- Most flood-related deaths occur at night and are vehicular
- Urban and small stream flash floods often occur in less than one hour
- Tropical cyclones pose significant risk well inland due to fresh water flooding
The National Flood Insurance Program
- The National Flood Insurance Program, is a pre-disaster flood mitigation and insurance protection program. The National Flood Insurance Program makes federally backed flood insurance available to residents and business owners National Flood Insurance Program, call 1-888-CALL-FLOOD ext. 445, TDD# 1-800-427-5593.
- FloodSmart.gov provides the following recommended actions you can take:
- Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Take action now before the next disaster to reduce human and financial consequences later
- Build Responsibly:
- If you plan on improving your home or repairing it after a disaster, and those improvements or repairs cost 50% or more of the building value pre-disaster, then you will be required to bring your structure up to current building and floodplain standards
- Get a permit before you build and work with a licensed contractor.
FloodSmart.gov provides the following recommended actions you can take:
- Know your flood zone.
- Homeowners' insurance does not cover flood damage.
- If you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or high-risk area and have a federally backed mortgage, your mortgage lender requires you to have flood insurance.
- In most cases, it takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it's important to buy insurance before the storm approaches and the floodwaters start to rise.
- Even though flood insurance isn't federally required, anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. In fact, people outside of mapped high-risk flood areas file over 20-percent of all National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance claims and receive one-third of Federal Disaster Assistance for flooding. From 2005 to 2014, total flood insurance claims averaged more than $3.5 billion per year.
What Would You Do?
- Know your risks
- Build a kit
- Have a plan
- Stay informed
To protect yourself, learn what flood threats affect your community:
- Is your home and/or business located in flood-prone area?
- Know your evacuation routes before flooding occurs to ensure your safety
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers
- Find a place where your family can safely meet up at after an evacuation order is issued
- Know the difference between a flood WATCH and a flood WARNING
- WATCH: The expectation of a flood event has increased, but its occurrence, location, and timing are still uncertain
- WARNING: A flood event is occurring, imminent, or has a high probability of occurring
According to floodsmart.gov, here are some recommended actions you can take to protect yourself and your property during a flood:
- If flooding occurs, go to higher ground and avoid areas subject to flooding.
- Do not attempt to walk across flowing streams or drive through flooded roadways.
- If water rises in your home before you evacuate, go to the top floor, attic, or roof.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio for the latest storm information.
- Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if advised to do so.
- Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
- Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways.
- Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.
- Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
- Check for structural damage before re-entering your home to avoid being trapped in a building collapse.
- If your home has suffered damage, call your insurance agent to file a claim.
- Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their purchase date and value with receipts, and place with the inventory you took prior to the flood. Some damaged items may require disposal, so keep photographs of these items.
- Keep power off until an electrician has inspected your system for safety.
- Boil water for drinking and food preparation until authorities tell you that your water supply is safe.
- Prevent mold by removing wet contents immediately.
- Wear gloves and boots to clean and disinfect. Wet items should be cleaned with a pine-oil cleanser and bleach, completely dried, and monitored for several days for any fungal growth and odors.