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Protect Your Home Against Rising Flood Risk

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flooding-floods-natural disaster-climate change

Ninety percent of all natural disasters in the United States involve flooding, making flooding the nation’s most common and costly disaster. And the trend is worsening. 

Genevieve Moran

Co-Director and Portfolio Manager, Flood Science Center, Association of State Floodplain Managers

Fueled by climate change, extreme rainfall events and sea level rise will continue at a frightening pace, putting millions of people in the path of destructive floods. And you don’t need to live near water to be at risk. Flooding can happen anywhere, and it does. Ninety-eight percent of counties in the United States have experienced a flood event.

It’s the increased severity of the problem and the growing urgency to raise public awareness of the mitigation options available that led the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to team up to create, an interactive website to help at-risk property owners make informed decisions around actions they can take to protect against flooding.

“To the average property owner, flood risk mitigation can feel like an overwhelming task. People often tell us they don’t even know where to start, so they put it off until it’s too late,” said Chad Berginnis, executive director of ASFPM, a national nonprofit working to reduce flood losses. “One of the goals of Reduce Flood Risk is to put people on a path toward understanding their flood risk and arming them with the tools they need to reduce that risk. And for those who think they’ll never flood, keep in mind that 40% of federal flood insurance claims occur outside of high-risk areas.”

The disruptive nature of flood events can upend lives for days, weeks, months — even years. For the recently flooded property owners, it can be difficult to navigate the complex disaster recovery process, and there are many decisions to make in a short, critical amount of time; not the least of which is how to rebuild, and to do so in a way that reduces risk of flooding in the future.

Flood mitigation

But whether someone is trying to prevent their next flood or their first flood, the good news is that for every dollar invested in flood mitigation, an estimated six dollars in post-disaster recovery costs is saved. The types of mitigation options range from simple DIY projects like ensuring downspout extensions are secured and directed away from the house to large-scale projects that require professional expertise, such as elevating the home or constructing a flood barrier. 

To get started, people can go simply go to and answer a series of five simple questions to receive a detailed list of mitigation options recommended to reduce flood risk for their specific property type. The curated results can then be filtered and sorted by key attributes, such as cost, complexity, and level of required maintenance.

In addition to its decision-support engine,, which was launched in May 2022, also features a variety of resources to help property owners and renters better understand flood risk, flood insurance, financial assistance options, and who to contact with any questions they may have about flood mitigation. The site is completely free and users do not need to create an account to gain access to the resources.

By curating the best mitigation resources available on the web and creating a centralized, searchable library, Reduce Flood Risk empowers property owners to protect themselves and their most valuable assets. With more than 1 million houses at high risk of flooding and the rising frequency of flood events across the nation, it is vital that individuals and communities take action today to protect against flooding tomorrow.

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