Post-Flood Responsibilities

Flood Recovery Guidance, Publications, and Links


Flood Recovery Publications

Protecting Building Utility Systems from Flood Damage, 2nd Edition – FEMA P-348

February 2017

The FEMA Building Science Branch is pleased to announce the release of the second edition of Protecting Building Utilities from Flood Damage, FEMA P-348. The overall objective of this updated publication is to assist in the repair, reconstruction and new construction of buildings with building utility systems and equipment that are designed and built for maximum flood resiliency.

The updated publication illustrates design and construction of utility systems that comply with the NFIP requirements for new or Substantially Improved residential and non-residential structures in flood-prone areas. It is also useful when evaluating structures for utility system upgrades or replacement, guiding users to meet floodplain management regulations and building code requirements. Even if NFIP compliance is not required, many building owners may find that applying the mitigation measures described in this publication will not only reduce future flood damage, but also facilitate faster recovery after flooding.

Key document features include:

  • Updated materials to reflect the latest versions of the International Code Council® codes and building standards;
  • Improved photographs, schematics and graphics;
  • Expanded sections to address specific mitigation measures both residential and non-residential building utility systems and equipment; and
  • Tools to assist the building owner in determining the best mitigation option for a particular building type and condition.

To download a copy of FEMA P-348 go to


FloodSmart Outreach Tools to Help – for Everyone

Since there is typically a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance takes effect, now is the time to help property owners better understand their flood risks and the importance of having flood insurance. It only takes one storm or an early spring thaw to trigger enormous flooding.  Properties directly affected by recent fires and those located downstream of burn areas are at a heightened risk of experiencing a flood.
Remind your community that flood risk isn’t solely based on flood history—it’s also a result of such factors as fires, river flow, topography, and changes due to recent building and development.

To educate members of your community about their flood risk and financial preparedness, FloodSmart—the marketing and education campaign of the NFIP—offers several tools and resources on that you can use:

  • The Cost of Flooding tool, which you can embed on your website to illustrate how just a few inches of water can cost tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
  • The Flood after Fire tool, to simulate how fires can increase flood risk.
  • Consumer and business checklists to share with residents to prepare before the next disaster strikes.
  • Before, during, and after the flood infographics to outline the actions residents can take to stay safe and file an insurance claim.
  • Social media messages that you can share through Facebook and Twitter.

Now is the time to reach out to your community, help residents better understand their flood risk, and encourage them to protect what matters with a flood insurance policy. It’s a conversation you won’t regret.  Remember, research shows that repeated messages from different sources are most effective.


Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings That Cannot Be Elevated

September 2015

This publication presents a range of flood protection measures available as alternatives to traditional structural elevation for homeowners whose residences meet both of the following conditions:

  1. The residences are existing buildings. This publication is not intended to address construction of new buildings in floodprone areas as these structures should be sufficiently elevated and built in conformance with NFIP and local floodplain management regulations.
  2. The residences are not Substantially Damaged or Substantially Improved, meaning that the buildings have not sustained damage or undergone improvement (i.e., reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition) where the cost of the damage or improvement exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the building before the damage occurred or improvement began. As with new construction, Substantially Damaged or Substantially Improved structures must be re-built in conformance with NFIP and local floodplain management regulations.

Link to the publication Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings That Cannot Be Elevated.


Engineering Principles and Practices for Retrofitting Flood-Prone Residential Structures

The third edition of Engineering Principles and Practices for Retrofitting Flood-Prone Residential Structures (FEMA P 259) is now available from the FEMA Publications Warehouse.  To read more about the document and for other information, see the article here: [Full Article].


Taking the Mystery Out of Flood Openings

There is a great article in the American Surveyor titled “Taking the Mystery Out of Flood Openings” by ASFPM’s Region 4 Regional Director, Terri L. Turner, AICP, CFM.  Surveyors and local floodplain officials will appreciate this useful resource that illustrates some important considerations when evaluating flood openings.  Click TheAmericanSurveyor_Turner-FloodOpenings_Vol10No6 for the article.


Property Owners Resources

After a Flood:  Replacing Your Important Papers  

Not only can homes be damaged by the severe storms, flooding, landslides or mudslides, but many survivors also may lose valuable personal documents.  The documents include everything from Social Security cards to driver licenses to credit cards.  Link to Replacing Your Important Papers for ways to retrieve lost documents.

New Fact Sheet Available on Salvaging Family Valuables and Heirlooms Damaged by Disasters

April 2017. When homes are flooded and lives are upended, treasured keepsakes such as photos, artwork, quilts and family heirlooms become more cherished. Although they may have been damaged in the flood, these treasures may be salvageable. Over the years, preservation experts have been resources at Disaster Recovery Centers offering practical tips and steps on how to handle, dry and clean damaged objects, and share tips on personal safety, setting priorities and other preservation options.

FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution co-sponsor the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, a partnership of 42 national service organizations and federal agencies created to protect cultural heritage from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies. In addition to a new fact sheet, the Task Force’s efforts on salvaging water-damaged, important personal belongings is also featured in a post titled “Safeguarding Memories” on the FEMA blog.

Low Water Crossing Safety Video.


Red Cross:


Also go to the Flood Insurance tab for information about flood insurance and floodplain management regulations.






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