Floodproofing refers to actions at the site or property level that reduce the vulnerability of buildings and their contents to flood damage. It can reduce losses from damage, clean-up and recovery, and in some cases, the likelihood of injury or death from drowning, electrocution, unsanitary conditions and debris.
Floodproofing does not reduce the likelihood of a flood occurring. Rather, it is a way to reduce harm to life and property in the event of flood. It is most effective when the flood duration is short, speed of floodwaters is slow, and flood depth is shallow.
Floodproofing can be done on a voluntary basis or through a municipal bylaw or other permitting process. It is important to determine what is required and what is permitted under provincial law and local bylaws.
In BC’s Lower Mainland, the most common method of floodproofing is construction that meets required flood construction levels (FCLs). However, flood construction levels differ among Lower Mainland municipalities. Also, exemptions are made in some instances, which means there are some inconsistencies.
Other types of dry floodproofing and wet floodproofing are uncommon in the Lower Mainland and may require further consideration. Inadequate floodproofing has been identified as a deficiency in the BC flood management framework.
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