Because of its unique location and extensive coastline, the state of Florida is frequently affected by hurricanes. As resilience starts at home, FEMA strongly encourages homeowners in Florida to take mitigation measures to prepare themselves and their families against potential disasters.
Why should you consider taking mitigation measures?
Taking hazard mitigation measures may:
- Reduce your losses from natural disasters in the future.
- Increase the ability of your home to withstand severe weather, hurricanes, flooding, wind, or other natural hazard events.
- Lower the cost of your homeowner’s flood insurance premiums.
- Increase the value of your property.
How can you protect your home from future hurricanes?
You can take measures to protect your home against future disasters, including hurricanes, wind, flooding, and storm surges. You may:
- Elevate or floodproof heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and/or mechanical units, ductwork, electrical systems, and other utilities.
- Install hurricane shutters to protect windows and glass doors.
- Reinforce garage and double-entry doors to prevent failure under wind pressure.
- Elevate your home.
- First, contact your local floodplain manager to discuss the required height to elevate your structure.
- Locally adopted Floodplain Management regulations may require structures in the Special Flood Hazard Areas to be higher than the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) indicated on FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS).
- Elevation may lower your flood insurance premiums and reduce the risk of future floods.
- For assistance finding and understanding your flood elevation, please send your email to FEMA-FMIX@fema.dhs.gov or call 877-336-2627.
- Install flood vents in foundation walls, garages, and other enclosed areas.
- Use flood-resistant materials in areas of your home below the BFE. For example, replace carpeting with tiles or use flood-resistant insulation and gypsum wallboard (Sheetrock).
- Anchor any fuel tanks to the floor. Make sure the vents and fill line openings are above the BFE. (This may require approval from your fuel provider.) Fuel tanks can tip over or float, releasing fuels in liquid or gas form, creating a fire or explosion hazard.
- Install a backflow valve on your sewer system to prevent sewage backup in your home.
- Add a waterproof veneer to exterior walls to prevent damage from shallow flooding. Seal your basement walls with waterproofing compounds.
According to the FEMA Mitigation specialists, safeguarding your home doesn’t have to be costly. In addition to fortifying the structure, simple actions such as pruning oversized trees and shrubs away from your house and keeping drains and gutters clear of debris may reduce the risk of future damage.
For the latest information on Florida’s recovery from Hurricane Idalia, visit floridadisaster.org/updates/ and fema.gov/disaster/4734.
FEMA’s mission is to help people before, during, and after disasters.
All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, or economic status. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, you can call the Civil Rights Resource line at 833-285-7448