The first step,
Flood insurance is required by some mortgage lenders for anyone living in a flood plain, but Morris recommends it to almost everyone in a city like
When deciding where to rent or buy, it’s helpful to know the severity of a property’s flood risk, but that information isn’t always easy to find, Morris said.
“There is no cohesive or consistent strategy,” he said. “Some states require a number of disclosures, sometimes voluntary.”
Thanks to a 2019 policy change from
Morris also suggests two resources for investigating the risk of an address flooding.
Considering what investments to make to prevent flood water from entering a home depends on an individual’s resources and whether a resident rents or owns their property, said
“If you’re renting, you’re not necessarily going to spend on something permanent,” Forehand said.
At the most basic level, tenants can buy sandbags or ask their landlord to fortify entryways to the house or apartment before a storm hits. Another option is to observe the gutters of the property. Some owners may offer to send a maintenance crew to clean them on request, Forehand said.
“Having a plan, a place to move things during a storm and work with the owner will help,” he said.
For any other concerns, assessing the risk of flooding before signing a lease and purchasing flood insurance afterward are among the best options for tenants, Forehand said.
Homeowners have more options to consider. Companies like Mount Valley Foundation Services offer to install different types of pumps that can siphon water from a crawl space or basement.
Another option is to consider the area surrounding a house, Morris said. Installing rain barrels and limiting the amount of “landscaping,” like patios and walkways, can help the yard absorb water and keep it from draining into a home.
“Dry flood protection is when you don’t let water get into your home and wet flood protection is what you do if water gets into your home,” he said. Morris said.
An example of wet flood protection would be the design of a house with electrical outlets installed high up to limit potential water damage, he said.
Knowing the age of a house’s roof is also important, said
“For most people, a roof is out of sight, out of mind,” Evans said. “They don’t focus on a roof until they need it.”
Getting ahead of roof repairs saves money in the long run, he said.
While Evans’ business focuses primarily on waterproofing and waterproofing the roofs of large-scale commercial properties or military bases, he has seen increased interest from homeowners.
From the bottom up, in-home flood prevention is unique to every home and apartment, but helps Charlestonians save money and get a little deeper sleep.