Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Emergency Management

Reduce Your Flood Risk

Water damage from flooding costs time, money, and aggravation. Fortunately, there are many actions that you, personally, can take to reduce your risk. You may not be able to eliminate your flood risk entirely, but assessing your home and fixing problem areas now, before the next downpour, can save you a lot of trouble. Some actions that you can take include:

  1. Move irreplaceable personal items or items with high sentimental value out of your basement and to a higher level in your home. (This includes things like photographs, children’s art, and other family heirlooms.) This simple action can save a lot of heartache after a flood.
  2. Buy flood insurance.
  3. Repair and clean eaves troughs (gutters) and downspouts.
  4. Install a sewer back-flow prevention device. (Sewer backups are common during extreme rain events.)
  5. Install a foundation or basement drain tile system and sump pump.
  6. Improve grading and landscaping around the building.
  7. Upgrade old window wells.
  8. Elevate basement utilities, HVAC, and electrical equipment.
  9. Set up a cistern or rain barrel.
  10. Plant a rain garden.

Some of these projects can be complex and the entire drainage system of the home should be considered before starting work. It is recommended that you seek the advice of a professional before starting a major project.

More detailed information on these and other flood mitigation ideas is available: