Step 9: Mitigate to the extent feasible

Properties in those areas that will not be cleared will not have 100% protection against all possible future hazards. But they can be “mitigated,” i.e., rebuilt in ways that reduce the long term risk to life and property.

Measures appropriate for different building types and different hazards should be explained, especially to applicants for permits to repair. Before restoration and reconstruction are initiated, appropriate and feasible mitigation measures should be incorporated into each building. Examples include:

  • Buildings on crawlspaces or with damaged foundations can be elevated above flood levels on new, stronger, foundations.
  • Hurricane shutters can be installed.
  • Damaged furnaces, air conditioners, and water heaters can be replaced with new ones on platforms above the flood level.
  • When the walls and ceilings have been opened for cleaning, structural ties can be added for wind protection and insulation can be installed to reduce the effects of heat waves and winter storms.
  • When a roof is replaced, impact resistant roofing for hail protection should be used.

In cases of substantially damaged buildings in a floodplain that had flood insurance policies, a provision known as Increased Cost of Compliance can help finance code required mitigation measures, such as elevating the structure.
Comment
While a lot of attention is given to determining substantial damage, there are many opportunities to reduce future damage to buildings that have minor damage. Building departments should advise property owners about these and owners should read some of the references below.

There may be other sources of financial assistance other than Increased Cost of Compliance. Check with the Joint Field Office.

Resources

On page 15, Conway’s Interim Mitigation Plan recommended voluntary floodproofing for non-substantially damaged properties. Many property owners imple-mented such measures. One documented project involved relocating the damaged furnace and ductwork from the flooded crawlspace to the attic.