How Land Surveying Can Help with Flooding

How Land Surveying Can Help with Flooding

January 14, 2022

Floods are not only inconvenient—they can also be extremely dangerous and even deadly. There’s no way to entirely predict or control Mother Nature, but there are some things we can do to hopefully minimize any potential damage from flooding. It all begins with land surveying.

One way land surveying can help with flooding is by gathering data that can help assess the potential damage a flood may cause. This will help us to plan accordingly to help prevent as much of that damage as possible. Here are more ways land surveying can help with flooding.

Determine flood zone

The best way to prepare for flooding is to know how likely a flood may be to occur in your area. Land surveying can help determine if a specific property is in a flood zone. The first thing to do is check to see where your property lies in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) flood maps.

FEMA’s flood maps are available online and can be viewed for free by anyone at FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center. By entering an address in the website’s form, you can determine if the property is in a flood-prone area.

In addition to your own personal knowledge, these maps are used for legal purposes for things like flood insurance. While they are accurate maps, they are sometimes outdated. Especially considering the increase in significant weather events due to climate change in the past few years, it may be a good idea to consider additional land surveying to ensure you have the most accurate data possible.

Flood zone elevation survey

The type of land surveying commonly associated with gathering information regarding flood potential is called a flood zone elevation survey. This includes a flood elevation certificate that can be used in the process of purchasing flood insurance. For example, if a property is designated as being in a FEMA flood zone, but your independent land survey places it out of the flood elevation level, you may be able to avoid being forced to purchase flood insurance by a lender.

Surveying the damage

In the event of a major flood, sometimes property lines may become blurred in the aftermath and cleanup. Land surveying after floods can be important to document the boundaries of parcels when there may be no other visual markers left to determine it.

Land surveying can also help identify any topographical changes that may have occurred during a flood. For example, there may have been mudslides that altered the landscape, or a sinkhole may have appeared after a massive rainstorm.

Land surveying for floods goes beyond just prevention, as it also can help with recovery. Land surveyors are vitally important to the rebuilding process—quite literally, as new construction will often require land surveying before the planning process can begin.

Flooding is not something anyone wants to happen, but it is something that sometimes can’t be stopped. Land surveying is one of the tools we have to help prevent and rebuild from this type of natural disaster as best we can. For professional land surveying services, including land surveying for floods, contact Bettersworth & Associates, Inc. today.

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