HomeFloodplain Information > What can I do to protect my home from flooding?

What can I do to protect my home?

Preparing your home for a flood

Sandbags - CopyFlooding can happen suddenly with little or no warning. You can take steps before and during a flood to protect your home, your loved ones and your animals.

If a flood event is likely to happen sandbags can be used to redirect floodwaters away from your home temporarily. The image to the right provides a guide for building a reliable sandbag barrier. Sandbags are available locally through a number of retailers.

If your home has been flooded, shut off all utilities. This will minimize chance of injury from damaged utilities for you.

Linn County Emergency Management Preparedness webpage has additional information to help you prepare in the event of a disaster. Sign up for LinnAlerts to ensure you get notifications as well for emergency alerts.

Flooding and flood damage is the last thing anyone wants. Flood damage and recovery is expensive, easily costing thousands of dollars in replacement and repair fees. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is available for residents of Cedar Rapids and is intended to help keep these costs from becoming a financial burden when you are looking to recover from flood damage by offering affordable insurance.   

Just 1 inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage to your home. Use this helpful tool to see how expensive damage can become with 1 inch or more of water; https://www.floodsmart.gov/costOfFlooding/index.html 


Flood insurance does not require a presidential disaster declaration, and doesn’t require repayment, unlike some disaster relief options. FEMA has limited grants available, but these are often much less than the cost to recover from a flood.  

Between 1978 and 2016 the NFIP payed $52.5 Billion to policy holders that helped them recover from disasters with the intent to restore your property to its pre-disaster condition. Disaster assistance usually isn’t enough alone to restore your home. 


When considering flood insurance, be aware that not all policies are created equal. Homeowner’s and renter’s Insurance typically do not cover flood damage 

Additionally, there are multiple types of flood coverage you can get through the NFIP. Some policies protect the building, and some policies protect both the building and the contents of the building. Be sure to ask your insurance agent about the options and how much coverage is provided.  

If you are renting you can also get a flood insurance policy for the contents of your rental unit as well. 


FEMA recently implemented a new risk rating approach to flood insurance policies that changes how rates are calculated. Historically all properties in a flood zone were treated equally, but the new system factors in a wide array of considerations and disaster models previously not part of the calculations. New policies as of October 1, 2021 will utilize these new ratings, with existing NFIP policies transitioning to the new rating system in spring 2022. For existing policies you may see an increase in your premiums once transitioned too the new rating system.  

With these changes comes a reduction in complexity by eliminating elevation certificate requirements for a flood insurance rating. These Elevation Certificates will still be required for development inside the floodplain, but will not be required for flood insurance. Additionally the quote process system has been simplified through the Risk Rating Engine. For more details regarding changes to the risk rating system please contact a local insurance agent. 


Lastly, don’t wait until the last minute to get a floodplain policy. Flood insurance has a 30 day waiting period before the National Flood Insurance Program coverage takes effect.   

The cost of flood damage is no joke; protect yourself, your family and your home. Flood Insurance can help you get back on your feet and back at home.  Contact an insurance agent for more information and what else you need to protect your home and family. 

You can find additional resources at FEMA’s Flood insurance pages. 



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