Why is flooding so bad in Houston?
Houston’s flooding problems can be credited to both man-made and natural issues. Houston’s flat landscape makes it challenging to drain rain and flood water quickly, allowing it to accumulate in thoroughfares, businesses, and homes. Additionally, the soil beneath Houston primarily consists of clay, which is notoriously bad at draining water.
To top it all off, recent city expansion has created more water-impervious surfaces and reduced flood mitigation tactics like green spaces and retention ponds.
Be prepared for flooding year-round.
As you know, flooding in Houston is a matter of “when,” not “if.” As a Harris County resident, you must be prepared for flooding year-round. While flooding is more common from spring into fall, area floods have been recorded every month, and it’s not uncommon to see one outside of the standard timeframe.
You can’t wholly avoid flooding, but you can minimize damage to your home and belongings by preparing beforehand.
How to prepare for storms and flooding in Houston
In all honesty, preparing for storms and floods can be a complicated process. Creating evacuation plans, coordinating emergency supplies, implementing new habits into your daily life—there are many moving parts.
Fortunately, you can prepare and protect against flooding in stages. Some methods require more effort, time, and money than others, and not all are feasible for everyone. Any amount of flood prep you do is better than none.
Here are some steps FEMA recommends for protecting your property against flooding:
- Determine your base flood elevation (BFE). FEMA defines BFE as “how high the water is expected to rise during flooding in high-risk areas.” To figure out your BFE, speak with your local floodplain manager, which you can find by emailing FEMAMapSpecialist@riskmapcds.com or calling 877.336.2627.
- Keep an up-to-date list of your belongings, especially valuables.
- Store all your valuables and essential documents above your local BFE.
- Floodproof utilities or raise them above your BFE.
- Ditch your carpet altogether and use water-resistant flooring like laminate or tile throughout your home.
- Ensure water is directed away from your home’s exterior.
To learn more about floodproofing your home, see this brochure from FEMA. For more dire events like hurricanes, Houston has a free hurricane preparedness guide for before, during, and after the storm.
Prepare for flooding with a flood insurance policy.
Unfortunately, your homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, so a flood insurance policy is one of the best ways to protect your home. The Harris County Flood Control District has recommended all Harris County residents have flood insurance, regardless of where they live.
Flood insurance is available to residents through the National Flood Insurance Program but can’t be bought directly. One of the best ways to buy flood insurance is by working with an independent insurance agency like Leavitt Group Texas Select. And with flood season upon us, now’s the best time
We have multiple agents on staff, ready to walk you through buying a flood policy as soon as possible. With flood season approaching fast, now’s the best time to purchase a flood insurance policy as part of your flood preparation process.