6 Ways to Protect Your Property From Floods

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street flooding in fairfax county


Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States. 

And in Fairfax County, some areas are more prone to flooding. 

Here's one example from the McLean area:




  1. Cleaning gutters and downspouts can help prevent flooding at your home.
  2. Keeping storm drains clear of debris enables water to drain away from your property during heavy rainfall.
  3. If you live in a floodplain, investing in a sump pump can help remove water that may accumulate in your home during a storm.
  4. Fix cracks and gaps in your home’s foundation to stop water from entering during downpours.
  5. Make sure your landscaping slopes away from your homes foundation to keep water from getting in when it rains.
  6. Check fencing to make sure it is high enough off the ground to allow water to flow out of your yard.




Flood insurance is not the same as homeowners insurance. Most homeowners' insurance policies do not cover flooding. In Fairfax County, the average flood insurance costs between $400 and $1,000 annually. Learn more about flood insurance or speak with your homeowner’s insurance agent.

Learn more about floodplain areas in the county.

Check out our Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map.




“Turn Around Don’t Drown” stresses the importance of not driving or walking through flood waters. More than half of all flood-related drownings occur when someone attempts to drive through flood water. The second highest percentage of deaths is from people walking into or to close to flood waters. Many roads flood in Fairfax County - turn around, don't drown. 




Several county departments play a role in flood preparedness and response. 

Our Department of Public Works and Environmental Services responds to service requests and implements projects to mitigate structural flooding in floodplains. For maintenance of county storm drains, assistance in determining who maintains a storm drain, and questions about storm drainage easements, use the Storm Drainage Problem Report Form or call the Maintenance & Stormwater Management Division at 703-877-2800, TTY 711.

The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District provides onsite technical assistance to property owners to minimize drainage impacts. 

The Department of Emergency Management and Security provides many tools, including the Community Emergency Response Guide.

Our Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination is leading the Resilient Fairfax efforts to help understand and plan for climate changes.

If there's a flooded road, heed the advice of turn around, don't drown. During heavy rains, our Fire and Rescue Department is frequently deployed to conduct swift water rescues. 

Per our One Fairfax Policy, we strive to ensure equitable outcomes for all, particularly marginalized populations and underserved communities.

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