Property Protection Measures
PROPERTY PROTECTION MEASURES
There are some floodproofing techniques that can help prevent or minimize flood damage. These protective measures include three main types: Emergency, Dry, and Wet.
“Emergency Floodproofing” techniques are non-permanent and include measures like sandbags, earth-fill retaining walls, and stop log barriers. While emergency measures are intended to be implemented when a flood warning has been issued, that doesn’t mean planning isn’t necessary. Materials need to be acquired, stored and maintained, and labor and equipment requirements for installation must be set up in advance.
“Dry Floodproofing” techniques are designed to keep water from entering a building that is below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). This generally involves either elevating it on piers, piles, or posts. The building can also be elevated on solid foundation walls, but this is recommended for areas of low to moderate water depth and velocity. Solid foundation walls are not allowed in the V Zone, also known as the Coastal High Hazard Zone, where wave heights equal or exceed three feet. This is because the US Army Corp of Engineers has identified a three-foot breaking wave to be critical in terms of causing significant damage to solid walls. It may be possible to relocate the structure all together to a higher place above the BFE. And while it may seem drastic, there is also the option to demolish the structure and start over following modern building code techniques.
“Wet Floodproofing” measures minimize damage to a structure and its contents from water that is allowed to enter the building. The benefit is that if flood waters are allowed to enter the building and quickly reach the same level as the flood waters outside, the effects of hydrostatic pressure, including buoyancy, are greatly reduced. This is accomplished by including openings, generally one square inch for each square foot of interior space, in the foundation. The reduced pressure on the house may reduce the amount of structural damage. It does not, however, protect contents, which is why wet floodproofing is only practical for enclosures below elevated buildings, walkout-on-grade basements, below-grade basements, crawl spaces, or attached garages, and not for living spaces.
FEMA has an excellent manual called HOMEOWNER’S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING, SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING,
published in 2009, FEMA No P-312. It’s easy to find and download from the web: www.fema.gov. Type P-312 in the search field to view the manual. Wet and dry floodproofing are covered in Chapters 6 and 7 respectively. There is also a copy at City Hall available for loan. Emergency flooding techniques are covered in the 1986 publication FLOODPROOFING FOR NON-RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES, FEMA 102.
Construction in the City, regardless of flood zone, requires a Flagler Beach Building Permit. The City Commission passed new floodplain Requirements, Ordinance 2015-03, on February 26, 2015, that was written in conjunction with the Florida Building Code. To learn more about the requirements of our building regulations, contact the Building Permit Department at 116 South 3rd Street, (386) 517-2005. View the Ordinance 2015-03 (PDF).
To report illegal floodplain development, contact our Chief Building Official / Code Enforcement Officer at