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How To Protect Your Home From Flash Floods

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Trouble in Paradise

How To Protect Your Home From Flash Floods

Living in Hawaii may be paradise — but even paradise has its problems. Take flash floods, for example: flash floods can be extremely dangerous and devastating to both people and property, and anything that stands in the way of a flash flood is at risk of being destroyed. Flash floods are more likely to occur after it has already been raining for several days; however, one of the most insidious aspects of these floods is that they can occur even when there are no visible signs of rain.

Use the following tips to help you prepare and protect yourself and your home from flash floods:

Be Aware and Be Prepared

Follow these general safety tips to help stay ahead of a flash flood.

  • Listen for warnings from the National Weather Service whenever there have been heavy rains.
  • Also, check NOAA weather radio for updates.
  • Sign up for civil defense alerts to get automatic text updates about flash floods and other emergency situations.
  • Know how to shut off your utilities safely in the event of a flash flood.
  • Create a flood preparedness plan with your family.

Protect Your Home and Property

Like the old adage says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best way to prepare for flash flooding is to build or renovate your home with the possibility of flash flooding in the back of your mind. Here are some tips to protect your house and property against flash floods:

  • Know your elevation and flood zones: if you’re in a flood-prone area, you may need special building permits to build or retrofit your home.
  • Ensure that your property has adequate drainage. If water pools on your property with no place to run off, you should consider installing drains.
  • Be aware of nearby streams and gulches that are prone to flooding with heavy rain.
  • Secure any fuel tanks on your property.
  • Reinforce your roof.
  • Make sure your home’s foundation is solid.

Know When to Hire a Professional

If you plan to build or retrofit your home to protect against flash floods, a professional drafting service can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. These services use software that can help you anticipate any potential issues with a project before you start building, and an experienced professional can coordinate with structural engineers and government agencies on your behalf. Hiring a drafting service can also achieve a perfect combination of form and function, helping you build a house that can withstand the elements — as well as a home you want to live in.

Photo by Seattle Municipal Archives

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