Implementing Effective Flood Protection

10 December 2021
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This article by Doug Coenen and Ray Drexler originally appeared in the November/December 2021 issue of Storm Water Solutions.


Flood protection is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Effective flood protection requires understanding local and larger risks, addressing difficult choices and investing in long-term community well-being.

Without sound flood protection action as it relates to a structure, the safety, financial security and self-reliance of the structure may be jeopardized.

Five key factors to an effective flood protection system include:


Reducing future flooding disruptions;

Allowing facility operations during most extreme events;

Construction without significantly impacting facility operations; and

Operating easily with minimal maintenance.

Five consultant qualifications clients should consider when hiring a consultant to design a flood protection system include:

Demonstrated experience with FEMA oversight flood protection design and successful implementation;

Deep federal floodplain construction code and requirement knowledge;

Understanding the interactions and co-dependencies of the various project architectural, civil, MEP and structural requirements;

Ability to educate client staff on flood protection systems operation and maintenance; and

Ability to develop operational protocols for optimal system performance.

Learn more about flood protection in Walter P Moore’s paper An Introduction to Flood Protection: What Owners Need to Know to Protect Their Properties.

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