Published date:August 31, 2023
Last updated date:August 31, 2023
Damage from natural disasters is a risk that all land owners take. And considering that about 40% of natural disasters involve flooding, there’s good reason to have a post-flood plan in place for your land, particularly if your property is located in a coastal state.
Your exact plan of attack after a flood will depend on the extent of the flooding and the amount of damage that has been done. The type of land you own will also play a role, since certain properties, such as agricultural and timberland, are at a higher risk than others of sustaining serious, long-term complications related to flooding.
In either case, here’s what to do after a flood to restore your land and help it recover from the damage that flooding can do.
Step One: Survey the Damage
As soon as it’s safe to do so, do a thorough walk-through of your land to determine how much harm was done. Did the flood drown out crops? Do you have trees, buildings, or other large structures down? Take pictures as you go, and try to put together an accurate overview of exactly what sort of damage(s) you’re dealing with.
Step Two: Contact Appropriate Parties
There are various professional parties that may be able to provide you with support post-flood. This includes state and federal agencies that offer natural disaster assistance, as well as professional clean-up agencies that can help with things like salvage and removal of debris. If you have flood insurance, this is also when you should call your provider and begin the process of filing your claim.
Step Three: Get Rid of Standing Water
The longer flood water sits on your land, the higher your risk of long-term issues like soil contamination and erosion. Below-ground sump pumps can be installed to help aid in water removal, but may not be safe to install in all areas. When in doubt, call in a specialty water removal service to aid in removing standing water from your property and, if needed, providing appropriate drainage options for affected areas.
Step Four: Test the Soil
Post-flood clean-up doesn’t end once your land is dry. Unfortunately, flooding can have a huge impact on the soil, and you’ll need to test – and possibly rehabilitate – the soil in order to get back to how things were. Keep in mind that it’s best to wait and test your soil once it’s fully dry, since this will give you the clearest idea of what you’re working with. Pay close attention to things like moisture levels, decreased nitrogen, and below-ground debris, all of which need to be resolved if you’re going to achieve successful regrowth of plant life.
Step Five: Level the Land
The last step in your post-flood restoration plan should be leveling out any areas affected by soil erosion or deposits. Be strategic with your leveling efforts, making sure to not just fix problem areas but to also prevent the same sorts of issues from occurring in the event of a future flood. Digging new channels and sloping certain areas of your land could make a big difference in how water flows throughout your property in years to come.
Recovering from a flood is not a quick process, especially if you have rebuilding or replanting to do. Be patient, accept assistance, and take steps toward future flood-proofing to ease the stress and get back on your feet sooner.
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