Flood Damage Prevention - Floodproofing

Several of Jefferson County's efforts to minimize flood risk depend on your cooperation and assistance. Here is how you can help:
  • Please visit the Floodplain Management Association "Flood Basics" webpage and click "Learning Center" to learn about flood prevention and reducing flood damage. You may also wish to enroll in a local emergency preparedness class where flood preparedness is discussed along with other hazards. Please email Heather Taracka, or visit the FEMA website for more information.
  • Illegal dumping of yard debris or household wastes into ditches and streams can worsen flooding and water pollution and make cleanup more difficult and expensive. If you see yard debris or household wastes in ditches or streams, please call the Public Works Department at 360-385-9160 or Environmental Health at 360-385-9444.

Floodproofing


Several methods are available to protect a building from flood damage:
  • If you expect floodwaters below 2 feet, you may wish to place an earthen berm around your property.
  • You may also consider waterproofing your house or placing watertight closures over the doorways, though this method is not recommended for expected floods over 2 feet or for structures with basements.
  • Even houses not expected to be flooded may have sewers that back up into the basement during heavy rains. Installing a plug or a sandpipe purchased from a local hardware store can prevent the back-up when floodwaters are less than 2 feet; valves or other measures may be taken to prevent back-up from larger flood, but please consult a plumber before installation.
  • It is also possible to raise an existing house above the anticipated flood levels; in fact, this measure is required for newly built or substantially improved structures in the floodplain in Jefferson County.
  • Visit the FEMA FloodSmart website and refer to the FEMA 2-page Checklist for Homeowners: Avoiding Flood Damage (PDF) for more ideas, including ones that are simple and free, that will help you protect your family and your belongings. For example, keep your car filled with gas. Take pictures of the valuables that are in your home.
  • You may also pick up the Disaster Preparedness Handbook prepared by the State of Washington for advice on measures to take in the event of any emergency. These materials are available at the front desk of the Environmental Health division of Jefferson County Public Health, at 617 Sheridan Street in Port Townsend.
  • Please note that before taking any of these measures you should visit the Floodplain Management Association Flood Basics webpage and the Individual Properties page to learn about effective implementation of the methods suggested above. Furthermore, you should inquire at the Department of Community Development (DCD) at 621 Sheridan Street in Port Townsend for permit requirements for the flood proofing method you wish to implement.