Flood Preparedness and Protection

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Flood Preparedness Links
 National Flood Insurance Program

Local Flood Hazard
Five waterways carry stormwater into, through and away from the Village: the Des Plaines River, McDonald Creek, Feehanville Ditch, Weller Creek and Higgins Creek. Flood hazard areas are associated with each waterway. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has prepared a map that illustrates the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The Engineering staff will help locate your property on the map and provide other basic Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) information. This information is especially useful for lenders, insurance agents, house hunters, real estate agents, and interested citizens. The most recent flooding event occurred April of 2013 when record rainfall fell throughout the Village in a very short time.

Flood Preparedness
Floods always occur at the most inconvenient times and with very little warning. But, there are many things that you can do to prepare for a flood.

  • Prepare a list of emergency phone numbers that can be easily accessed during a flood event. Keep backup records at other location such as at work or at a friend’s house.
  • Keep an inventory of your personal property that can be used to identify what has been damaged and lost during a flood. Photographs or a video record of each room can be helpful.
  • Keep photographs of valuable items such as insurance policies, vehicle titles, deeds, bank and credit card account information, wills, important telephone numbers in a location away from your home such as a safe deposit box.
  • Talk to your insurance agent about protection against floods and sewer backups.
  • Keep on hand cleaning supplies that will be needed to recover from a flood.

Flood Safety
If your basement or building has flooded, remember these precautionary steps:

  • Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if evacuation appears necessary.
  • Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage rather than candles or lanterns.
  • Do not touch any electrical equipment unless it is in a dry area and you are standing on a piece of dry wood while wearing rubber gloves and rubber-sole boots or shoes.
  • Be careful after a flood because the floors are often covered with debris and mud which can lead to slipping or stepping on uneven or sharp objects.
  • Flood water is often contaminated and can cause severe health threats, so clean everything that got wet.

There are many methods that have been successfully used to protect a building from flood damage. These measures to alter your building to eliminate or reduce flood damages, called retrofitting, include:

  • Elevation – This involves raising the house so that the lowest floor is above the flood protection level.
  • Relocation – Moving a building out of the flood area is the surest way to protect it from a flood.
  • Floodwalls – They work to keep water from reaching your home by constructing barriers out of fill or concrete between the building and the flood water.
  • Dry Flood-proofing – Makes the building walls and floor watertight so water does not enter.
  • Wet Flood-proofing – Modifies the structure and relocates the contents so that when flood water enters the building there is little or no damage.

Important note: Any alteration to your building or land requires a permit from the Community Development Department. Even re-grading or filling in the floodplain requires a permit.

Flood Protection
If your property is susceptible to flooding, there are some things you can do to reduce damages.

  • Regrading your lot or constructing a small earthen berm may help to keep water away from your building.
  • Watertight closures over doorways and windows can prevent flood waters from entering through the doorways during a flood event. This method is not recommended for houses with basements, or if water will get over two feet deep.
  • Furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters and major appliances can be elevated on platforms or moved to higher floors.
  • Temporary measures like sandbagging may prevent water from entering your building during a flood event.
  • Many houses, even those not in the floodplain, have sewers that back up into the basement during heavy rains. A plug or standpipe can stop this if the water doesn't get more than one or two feet deep. They can be purchased at a hardware store for approximately $25. For deeper sewer backup flooding, talk to a plumber about overhead sewers or backup valves. These measures are called floodproofing and retrofitting. More information is available at the Mount Prospect Public Library.

Important note: Always check with the Mount Prospect Building Division before you build on, fill, alter or regrade your property or make building alterations. A permit is needed to ensure that all projects com-ply with our Village Code and does not create drainage problems on any other property.

Drainage System Maintenance
Any debris that is deposited into any part of our drainage system can have a serious impact on flooding, and it is against our Village Code. Dumping materials such as grass clippings, branches, garbage and other unwanted material into creeks and ditches can decrease the ability of our drainage system to carry water away from our properties. Contact the Public Works Department if you see any debris that may potentially cause flooding problems.

Flood Insurance
Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover losses due to flooding. However, since the Village of Mount Prospect is a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), flood insurance is avail-able to all property owners or renters in the Village. Coverage can be obtained on the building as well as on the contents. Contact your insurance agent to find out more about flood insurance. And because of the Village's participation in the CRS Program, property owners are eligible for up to a 15% discount on the flood insurance premiums. Please take note that there is a 30-day waiting period after the purchase of flood insurance before it goes into effect.

Some insurance companies offer sewer backup and sump pump failure insurance that can be added on to your homeowner’s insurance policy. Contact your agent for more information.

You can obtain more information from FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program website.

Floodplain Development Permit
The Village of Mount Prospect has adopted Floodplain Regulations (Chapter 22 of the Village Code). The regulations help to minimize the potential losses due to periodic flooding. All construction activity within a floodplain requires a Floodplain Development Permit. If you see dumping or debris in the creeks, or construction activities near in a floodplain area without a permit sign posted, please report it to the Public Works Department.

More Information
To obtain any information concerning flooding, just stop by or call the Public Works Department at (847) 870-5640 (TDD: (847) 392-1235) and ask for the Engineering Division.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a website that can also provide additional in-formation.