Property Protection Measures
There are several different ways to protect a building from flood damage. One way is to keep the water away by regarding your building is to site it outside of the floodplain and stream buffer. The Planning Department can provide you with information on floodplains and stream buffers.
Another opportunity is to retrofit the crawl space under your house. First, relocate any water heater, central air unit, or electrical fuse box from the crawl space to some other place in the house or attached garage. Next determine the location and number of hydrostatic vents that will be needed. The bottom of such venting cannot higher than one foot above the natural grade. The total vented area cannot be less than one square inch for every one square foot of crawl space wall subject to flooding. No less than two vents on different walls subject to flooding are required.
Hydrostatic pressure from floodwaters is a major cause of damages to residences. These vents serve to equalize the pressures on the walls by allowing floodwaters to move freely both into and out of the crawl space. Another approach would be to elevate the house above the base flood elevation. This method can become pricey, but in specific situations may work.
These opportunities are termed flood proofing. More information is available at the Orange County Planning Department. Please note that any alteration to your property and building on your property requires a building permit from the Planning and Inspections Department.
Shut off the Gas & Electricity
If you know that flooding is immanent, you should shut off the gas and electricity and move valuable contents out of harms way. You may not receive much of a warning, so a detailed checklist prepared in advance would help ensure that you will not forget anything.