Floods have been in the news a lot in 2006. Already this year more than 60% of federal disaster declarations in the United States have involved flooding. Most recently, the Southwest was hard hit by flash floods produced by a monsoon. Is there anything you can do to protect yourself against flood? Certainly. Start by assessing your home’s flood risk. The National Flood Insurance Program provides a useful tool for measuring your flood risk at www.FloodSmart.gov—look for the “What’s your flood risk?” tab. Another thing you should do is compare the elevation of your property to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). BFE refers to the height that water will reach in the event of a “100-year flood,” or a flood with a 1% chance of occurring in any given year. You can find this information by contacting your local building officials or local floodplain management officials. You can also get additional information and requirements for buildings in the floodplain as well as permitting requirements. In the next blog entry, I’ll tell you what to do with the information once you’ve got it.

Credit: Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc. – FLASH

What’s Your Flood Risk?