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Oklahoma's Floodplain Management 101

Chapter 7 Appendix

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Appendix 7-1: Preparing for Floods

  1. Get to know the flood warning system in your community. When you are advised to evacuate, be prepared to leave immediately.
  2. Make emergency plans now, involve your entire family. Have an evacuation route for leaving your house. When charting your evacuation route, be aware of low road elevations that may be subject to inundation by flood waters. Remember, the worst case in your community may involve your evacuating in the middle of the night with little flood warning. Plan now!!
  3. If you receive an emergency warning, listen to the radio for the latest local information. Have a battery powered radio and an extra set of fresh batteries.
  4. When advised to evacuate, do so immediately! Take personal necessities with you; including such items as medication, eye glasses and suitable clothing.
  5. Know your flood insurance policy. Make sure it fully covers your structure(s) and their contents.
  6. If there is time, move important items to higher elevations - food, furniture, valuables, legal papers and insurance policies, rugs, appliances, clothing, books and electric motors and controls.
  7. Consider keeping basement windows open to keep the indoor and outdoor water levels equal. This will help prevent basements from collapsing. If possible, flood the basement with clean water. This will keep out the mud and silt and keep the basement from collapsing.

    (NOTE: Certain expenditures for flood fighting activities (e.g. removal of damageable items, protecting structure against structural damage, etc.) may be reimbursable under your flood insurance polity if the action is taken after you have been instructed by competent local officials to take action to protect your property. Keep good records, and take photos to document actions you have taken. If you have any questions about reimbursable flood fighting activities, contact your insurance agent or call the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) toll-free number, (1-800-638-6620).
  8. Shut off all utilities at the main switches and valves - water, gas, oil, and electric. Remove switch plates and cover electrical boxes with rubberized tape. Use caution if area is already inundated with water.
  9. Take special precautions with domestic water systems. If you have a well, seal it to keep out silt and debris.

DURING THE FLOOD

  1. Be sure everyone is safe from the fast flowing flood waters. Flowing water that an adult can walk through may sweep children away. Arrange for shelter (if possible with friends or relatives), food, clothing, transportation and medical care.
  2. Cooperate fully with local officials. Keep informed of local conditions. Obey all health regulations for protection against epidemics. Report all violations.
  3. Wait until officials assure you that the flood danger is over before reentering any area. Cooperate fully with local officials.

AFTER THE FLOOD

  1. 1. Test the plumbing by flushing system with buckets of water. Have your individual sanitary disposal systems inspected by health officials.
  2. Have your water supply tested by health officials. Boil or chlorinate emergency drinking water.
  3. Destroy all fresh or frozen food that has been in contact with flood water or has thawed. Do not use it!!
  4. Start clean up as soon as flood water recedes. Scrub and disinfect walls and floors, household items and appliances. Use flashlights, not matches when entering buildings. Do not use electrical system until it has been checked by a qualified electrician. Have any electrical appliances that were inundated by flood water checked by a serviceman before using them.
  5. Document all flood related damage, including debris removal and clean-up costs. Photographs are extremely helpful in documenting flood damage for insurance proposes. Under the debris removal clause of a flood insurance polity, certain expenditures for debris removal from the structure and cleaning of the structure (both inside and outside) are reimbursable. Keep good records, including how much of your personal time was spent on debris removal and clean-up. If you have any questions about reimbursable items under the debris removal provisions of a flood insurance policy, call you agent or the above referenced NFIP toll-free number.
  6. Wait until surrounding flood waters are well below the basement floor level before draining your basement. The additional pressure of saturated soil may cause your basement walls to collapse. Begin pumping in stages — about 1/2 of the water per day.
  7. Use stoves and heating systems as soon as possible to hasten drying. Clean, dry and recondition heaters and flues and be sure electric motors are dry before using them.
  8. Clean, dry and air clothing, bedding and mattresses, furniture and rugs as soon as possible. Disinfect, if necessary.
  9. Delay all permanent repairs until buildings are thoroughly dry. Check with local building contractors and local officials on methods of repairs and check with local officials to determine what building permits may be required to do the work.

* All references relate to a standard flood insurance policy purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If you have any questions about the NFIP, contact your insurance agent or call the NFIP toll-free number 1-800-427-4661.

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Appendix 7-2: Flood Recovery Plan

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

The proverb’s age-old meaning is clear. It’s less expensive to protect your home and property before they are damaged than to repair them afterwards. Why spend time, energy, and money replacing your damaged items only to have them damaged in a future flood? If you are repairing your home or replacing its contents, take that extra step now to protect your home, property, and family for the future.

Every homeowner and renter can determine what preventive measures can be taken to reduce or minimize damage to their property. Taking action to reduce the risk of future damage is called hazard mitigation. Mitigating your risk to future flooding is an important step in recovering from the losses you faced this time.

This specially-developed Flood Recovery Plan will help you evaluate your home and property. Whether you own or rent, whether your home was damaged or not, it will be an invaluable tool in helping you during the weeks and months ahead.

Your personalized plan will assist you in talking with contractors, lenders, insurers, or government representatives about your individual needs.

Flood recovery specialists from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), or local floodplain administrators are available now and in the future to provide basic guidance on your flood risks, flood damage reduction techniques, and flood insurance. Right now, one of the flood recovery specialists can assist you in getting started by helping you complete your Flood Recovery Plan.

It’s important to remember that this plan is intended only as a guide. You are encouraged to work with your local building permit officials to ensure that your plans meet all local building code requirements.

Those of you who have suffered flood losses are encouraged to seek out licensed contractors, architects, and engineers to ensure compliance with the law.

Protect your home, property and family now. Before the next flood.

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Appendix 7-3: Hazard Mitigation Grant Program

The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) was created in November 1988 by Section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. The HMGP assists States and local communities in implementing long-term mitigation measures following a Presidential disaster declaration. The objectives of the HMGP are:

  • To prevent future losses of lives and property due to disasters;
  • To implement State or local mitigation plans;
  • To enable mitigation measures to be implemented during a State’s or community’s immediate recovery from a disaster; and
  • To provide funding for previously identified mitigation measures that benefit the disaster area.

To meet these objectives, FEMA can fund up to 75 percent of the eligible costs of each project. The State or local cost-share match does not need to be cash; in kind services or materials may also be used.

The HMGP can be used to fund projects to protect either public or private property, so long as the projects in question fit within the State and local government’s overall mitigation strategy for the disaster area, and comply with program guidelines. Examples of projects that may be funded include the acquisition or relocation of structures from hazard-prone areas, the retrofitting of existing structures to protect them from future damages; and the development of State or local standards designed to protect buildings from future damages.

Eligibility for funding under the HMGP is limited to State and local governments, certain private non-profit organizations or institutions that serve a public function, Indian tribes or authorized tribal organizations, and Alaska Native villages or organizations.

In order to apply for HMGP project funding, applicants must work through their State, since the State is responsible for setting priorities for funding and administering the program.

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Appendix 7-4: Flood Mitigation Assistance

FEMAs Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) provides funding to assist States and communities in implementing measures to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flood damage to buildings, manufactured homes, and other structures insurable under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). FMA was created as part of the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C. 4101) with the goal of reducing or eliminating claims under the NFIP. FMA is a pre-disaster grant program.

Getting Started Planning is the foundation of FMA. FEMA encourages communities to identify ways to reduce their risk of flood damage by preparing Flood Mitigation Plans. Communities that have Flood Mitigation Plans can request approval of their plans from their FMA State Point of Contact (POC) and FEMA. Approved plans make a community eligible to apply for FMA project grants.

Plans must assess flood risk and identify actions to reduce that risk. Two types of grants to communities include Planning Grants—grants to states and communities to develop or update Flood Mitigation Plans—and Project Grants—grants to states and communities to implement measures to reduce flood losses. Projects that reduce the risk of flood damage to structures insurable under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are eligible.

Such activities include the following:

  • Elevation of insured structures;
  • Acquisition of insured structures and real property;
  • Relocation or demolition of insured structures;
  • Dry floodproofing of insured structures;
  • Minor, localized structural projects that are not fundable by State or other Federal programs.; or
  • Beach nourishment activities such as planting of dune grass.

Any State agency, participating NFIP community or qualified local organization is eligible to participate in FMA. However, communities that are suspended or on probation from the NFIP are not eligible. Individuals wishing to participate in FMA should contact their community officials.

A project must at a minimum be cost effective, cost beneficial to the National Flood Insurance Fund, technically feasible, physically located in a participating NFIP community, or must reduce future flood damages in an NFIP community.

A project must also conform with the minimum standards of the NFIP Floodplain Management regulations, the applicant's Flood Mitigation Plan, all applicable laws and regulations, such as Federal and State environmental standards or local building codes.

FEMA distributes FMA funds to States, which in turn provide funds to communities. The state serves as the grantee and program administrator for the FMA. The State sets mitigation priorities, provides technical assistance to communities applying for FMA funds, evaluates grant applications based on minimum eligibility criteria and state priorities, awards planning grants, works with FEMA to approve projects and awards funds to communities, ensures that all community applicants are aware of their grant management responsibilities.

FEMA may contribute up to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. At least 25 percent of the total eligible costs must be provided by a nonfederal source. Of this 25 percent, no more than half can be provided as in-kind contributions from third parties. There are limits on the frequency of grants and the amount of funding that can be allocated to a state or community in any five-year period.

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