6 prudent steps you can take to protect your property from the hazards of flooding

By David Vaughn, Engineering Program Specialist

About 90% of U.S. natural disasters involve flooding, costing taxpayers more than $850 billion in the last two decades. That’s nearly two-thirds the costs of all natural disasters combined.

As a follow-up to Texas Flood Awareness Week, we offer six prudent ways to begin protecting yourself, your property, and our community:

1. Know your flood hazard

You may be living in a floodplain. Find out by contacting Planning and Development Services at 979-764-3570 or cspds@cstx.gov. Our flood map information service helps you make informed decisions to protect your home with personalized, one-on-one advice and assistance.

2. Purchase flood insurance

Buying flood insurance is essential to protect your home and possessions from a flood. Where it can rain, it can flood. About 40% of flood insurance claims come from outside high-risk flood zones. And policies don’t take effect for 30 days, so call your insurance agent today. You can also contact us for flood insurance advice and assistance.

3. Turn around, don’t drown

If you approach a flooded roadway or intersection, don’t attempt to drive through the water. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock down an adult and carry them away. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles.

4. Protect your property

Contact us for one-on-one advice on protecting your home from flood damage and for financial assistance advice to help you prepare for or recover from a flood. You can also schedule a site visit with an engineer or floodplain manager to review flooding or drainage-related problems on your property. 

5. Get a permit before you build

Site grading and other construction work can impair drainage and cause flooding if not appropriately planned or permitted. Contact Planning & Development Services at 979-764-3570 or cspds@cstx.gov to see if a permit is needed for your next project, especially if the site is in the Special Flood Hazard Area or floodplain.

6. Don’t pollute local waterways

Please keep debris and trash out of our streams and ditches. Obstructed drainageways won’t flow properly and can cause rising water levels. Similarly, storm drains blocked by yard waste or litter can create localized flooding.

Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States, but a proactive approach can help you mitigate the consequences.

About the Blogger

David Vaughn is in his fourth year as Planning and Development Services engineering program specialist. He worked as an environmental coordinator for FedEx Express from 2015-20. A native of Silsbee, David earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Sam Houston State in 2016. 

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