Protective Measures


If your property is located in a flood zone there are various actions that should be taken to flood-proof your existing home and other structures. 

Electrical panel boxes, furnaces, water heaters, and washers / dryers should be elevated or relocated to a location less likely to be flooded. Basement floor drains and interior and exterior backwater valves can be installed, and interior floodwalls can be placed around utilities.

House Elevation


There are ways to permanently retrofit a building, retrofitting means making changes to an existing building to protect it from flooding. Six ways are discussed in FEMA publication 312, Homeowner’s guide to Retrofitting.

Ways to Retrofit

The six ways to retrofit are:

  • Demolition - demolish home and rebuild meeting flood requirements or moving elsewhere.
  • Dry flood proofing - sealing your house to prevent flood waters from entering.
  • Elevation - raising your house so the lowest floor is 2 foot above flood level.
  • Levee and floodwall - construct barriers to prevent flood from entering.
  • Relocation - moving your house to higher ground.
  • Wet flood proofing - to make uninhabited parts of your home resistant to flood damage.

Emergency Flood Proofing Measures

Emergency flood proofing measures are generally less expensive than those listed above, however they require substantial warning. They do not satisfy the minimum requirements set forth by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and are temporary in nature.

Helpful Information

Some emergency flood proofing measures include:

  • Building walls with sandbags.
  • Constructing a double row of walls with boards and posts to create a “crib.” Then filling the crib with soil.

Learn More

To learn more about what you can do to protect your property from flooding, visit the Gloucester Public Library and read more about it.