Building in a floodplain is like pitching a tent on a highway when there are no cars coming.

Floodproofing & Mitigation

Floodproofing & Mitigation

Protect Property from Flood Damage

The most effective way to protect your property from flood damage is to choose a location outside of the floodplain that is not susceptible to flooding or drainage problems. But what about buildings and other development that are already located in high risk areas?

Floodproof Existing Buildings

Techniques for floodproofing (retrofitting) existing flood-prone development include:

  • Elevation of the building above the anticipated height of floodwaters.
  • Relocation to a new site outside of the floodplain.
  • Levees and floodwalls can be built around at-risk areas.
  • Dry floodproofing involves sealing building walls with waterproof compounds so that the structure is watertight.
  • A variety of wet floodproofing techniques allow the structure to flood, but reduce the resulting damage to the building and its contents.
  • Temporary barriers, such as sandbags, can be installed when flooding is anticipated.

Consult with your municipal building official for information and assistance with floodproofing techniques.

Floodproofing Information Sheets

STC developed a series of floodproofing information sheets with basic information about different floodproofing techniques and how to evaluate the options. FEMA also developed fact sheets about “Protecting Your Property from Flooding.”
STC Documents

Protect Your Home from Flooding: Low-cost Projects You Can Do Yourself

FEMA brochure with mitigation ideas for reducing flood losses
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Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings that Cannot Be Elevated

FEMA P-1037
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Requirements for Flood Openings in Foundation Walls and Walls of Enclosures

FEMA Technical Bulletin 1
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Flood Damage-Resistant Materials Requirements

FEMA Technical Bulletin 2
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Consider Purchasing Flood Insurance

Insurance doesn’t prevent flood damage, but it can be a valuable tool for protecting the financial investment in buildings and contents. Flood losses are not covered by most insurance policies.

Flood Insurance

Make informed decisions about whether you need flood insurance to protect your financial investment.
STC Webpage

Flood Resilience Planning

Flood resilience and hazard mitigation planning are critical steps toward coordinated implementation of activities that will reduce future damages from events that we hope will never occur. The planning process enables a community to develop a program of activities that can be implemented now, before a disaster strikes. After evaluating the problems and considering potential solutions, the community identifies the most appropriate and efficient actions for reducing future damages.

Flood Resilience Strategies

List of strategies to manage water where it falls, make room for water, live with floods, and educate the public.
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Chemung County Hazard Mitigation Action Plan, 2019

Schuyler County Hazard Mitigation Plan, 2016-2021

Steuben County Multi-Jurisdictional All-Hazard Mitigation Plan Update, 2019

Flood Mitigation Plans

Regional and local plans to promote flood resilience in the STC region. Documents include municipal mitigation plans that have been replaced by countywide hazard mitigation plans, but contain local details that remain relevant.
STC Documents

Implementation Strategy for a Flood Resilient Future (2017)

Resilience strategy with recommended actions for Southern Tier Central communities.
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Planning in Water’s Way: Flood Resilient Strategies

Presentation summarizes the findings of the Planning in Water’s Way project for the I-86 Innovation Corridor in the Corning-Elmira area.
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Planning in Water's Way: Land Use Guide (2019)

Presents information about the corridor’s flood risks and presents strategies for improving the flood resilience of both existing and future development.
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Planning in Water's Way: Economic Analysis (2019)

Supporting technical analysis of existing flood vulnerabilities, potential economic impacts, and financial benefits of mitigation alternatives in the Corning-Elmira area.
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Flood Smart Action Plan - Cohocton River (2019)

Analysis and recommendations for improving the flood resilience of communities along the Cohocton River (Steuben County), with a “toolkit” of information and resources for implementing recommended actions.
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Additional Resources

NAI How-to Guide for Mitigation

Association of State Floodplain Managers No-Adverse Impact guidance document presents tools and case studies for effective flood mitigation projects.
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NAI How-to Guide for Infrastructure

Association of State Floodplain Managers No-Adverse Impact guidance document presents tools and case studies for locating, retrofitting, and managing infrastructure for flood resilience.
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