Virginia Flood Awareness Week 2023 Points to Preparation
Published on March 09, 2023
Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States, and it is becoming more frequent with climate change. As we head into the typical spring and summer rainy season, Arlington, Fairfax County and the City of Alexandria are teaming up for Virginia Flood Awareness Week to share key messages of being informed and prepared.
Virginia Flood Awareness Week, March 12-18, 2023, stresses personal safety with the “Turn Around Don’t Drown” campaign. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than half of all flood-related drownings occur when motorists attempt to drive through flood water. Other leading flood-related deaths happen when people walk too close to flood water.
Just an inch of water entering a home can result in as much as $25,000 in damages. Yet only 3% of Virginians have flood insurance. Flood Awareness Week seeks to educate the public about protecting their property by purchasing a flood insurance policy, which on average in Virginia costs between $400 and $1000 annually. It is crucial for residents and property owners to know if they are located in a flood hazard area.
Arlington is taking action to improve Flood Resilience as well, by increasing investment in the County’s stormwater management system, constructing projects such as the stormwater vault at Cardinal Elementary School, and increasing stormwater requirements for building projects.
Some additional tips for protecting property:
- Cleaning gutters and downspouts can help water drain away from structures.
- Keeping storm drains clear of debris enables water to drain away from property during heavy rainfall.
- Investing in a sump pump can help remove water that may accumulate in a home during a storm.
- Check your home for water entry points. During a flood, water may enter through basement windows, basement stairwells, doors, dryer vents or cracks and gaps in the foundation. Some of these can be repaired or protected with low walls or temporary shields.
- Consider installing a sanitary sewer backflow valve to prevent sewer backup flooding.
- Make sure landscaping slopes away from the foundation to keep water from getting in when it rains.
- Check fencing to make sure it is high enough off the ground to allow water to flow out of the yard.
As part of Flood Awareness Week, Arlington, Fairfax and Alexandria are hosting a pair of Lunch and Learn Webinars:
To understand more about floodplain areas in the County, visit the Reducing Your Risk of Flooding page.
, an official site of the National Flood Insurance Program, for more information or flood insurance, or speak with your homeowner’s insurance agent.