This letter is to warn the residents who live in the repetitive loss areas by mailing this letter biannually. This activity is one of the activities that Fairfax County conducts to continue to participate in the Community Rating System (CRS) program that will help the county residents to receive a discount on their flood insurance premium.
Our records indicate that you live in an area that is subject to repetitive flooding. Fairfax County is concerned about repetitive flooding and is providing the following information to better help protect yourself and your property from possible future flooding. Please review the information provided below:
- Protect yourself from the hazard:
- Turn around, don’t drown.
- To report storm drainage concerns or flooding, contact Fairfax County Maintenance and Stormwater Management Division at 703-877-2800, TTY 711.
- Know how to shut off electricity and gas to your house.
- Make a list of emergency numbers and identify a safe place to go.
- Make an inventory of your household items, especially basement contents.
- Put insurance policies, valuable papers, and medicines in a safe place.
- Put cleaning supplies, a camera, and waterproof boots in a handy place.
- Develop a disaster response plan. Obtain a copy of “Repairing Your Flooded Home” from the American Red Cross: Flood Safety | Flood Preparedness | American Red Cross for information about preparing your home and family for a disaster.
- Designate a place where your family can rendezvous after an evacuation order is issued.
- To protect your property from hazards, consider implementing permanent flood protection measures such as:
- Mark your fuse or breaker box to show the circuits to areas in your home that may flood. Turning off power to these areas before a flood may reduce property damage and save lives. Note: Judgment should be used before turning off power to flood protection devices such as sump pumps.
- Consider elevating your house above flood levels.
- Check your home for water entry points such as basement windows, stairwells, doors, and dryer vents. These can be protected with low walls or temporary shields.
- Install a floor drain plug, standpipe, or overhead sewer, or sewer backup valve to prevent sewer backups. Check with Fairfax County Land Development Services (LDS) at Permits and Review | Planning, Permitting and Construction (fairfaxcounty.gov), or 703-324-1720, TTY 711 for permit requirements prior to conducting any work to install these devices. Some flood protection measures may need a permit, and others may not be appropriate or safe for your building.
- More information is available at the FEMA website at: Floods | Ready.gov
- FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Programs Information: the following programs are offered by FEMA and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to assist homeowners and local governments in mitigating the impacts:
- Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP): this grant program is aimed at providing long-term hazard mitigation measures. More information is available at Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants | FEMA.gov.
- Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM): this program provides funds for hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of mitigation projects prior to disaster. More information is available at Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant | FEMA.gov.
- Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA): this program provides funding to reduce or eliminate risk of flood damage to buildings insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that have more than one incident of flooding in a short time period. More information is available at Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Grant | FEMA.gov.
- Repetitive Flood Claims (RFC): provides funding to reduce or eliminate the long –term risk of flood damage to structures insured under NFIP. More information is available at FEMA Repetitive Flood Claims Program | Adaptation Clearinghouse
- Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL): provides funding to reduce or eliminate the long –term risk of flood damage to severe repetitive loss structures. More information is available at 20_srl.pdf (fema.gov)
- To insure your property for flood hazards, consider purchasing a flood insurance policy:
- Homeowner’s insurance policies may not cover damage from floods. Fairfax County participates in FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which allows residents to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. The insurance is backed by the federal government and is available to everyone, including homeowners and renters. Fairfax County participates in FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS) which allows homeowners and renters to purchase flood insurance at discounted rates.
- FEMA updated the NFIP’s risk rating process using a methodology known as Risk Rating 2.0, which will determine flood insurance premiums based on more advanced tools and capabilities that better reflect a property’s individual risk. More information is available at Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action | FEMA.gov
- Residents who purchased flood insurance as required by a mortgage lender or for a home improvement loan may be covered for building damages only and not the contents. Check your policy for coverage limitations. Frequently, flooding causes damage to a home’s furniture and contents. Your homeowner’s insurance agent may have more information about rates and coverage.
- More information about flood insurance: The National Flood Insurance Program | FloodSmart
- Protect natural floodplain functions:
- Do not litter.
- It is illegal to deposit anything into a storm drain.
- Fertilizer, pesticides, motor oil, pet waste, paint and paint-related products are hazardous to the environment and pollute the Potomac River, a source of drinking water for many Fairfax County residents.
- Call 9-1-1 to report hazardous materials, such as those listed above, that have been discarded into a storm drain or stream. To obtain further information, see the link Polluted Runoff Inspections | Public Works and Environmental Services (fairfaxcounty.gov)
In order to ensure that we continue to communicate flood risks and mitigation measures to you appropriately, you will receive this letter biannually.
If you would like an electronic copy of this letter to facilitate access to the information at the web pages referenced, please send an e-mail request to SWPDMail@fairfaxcounty.gov. This email address can also be used to send us any questions you may have regarding the information in this letter or the County’s Stormwater Program. Alternatively, you may contact SWPD at 703-324-5500, TTY 711 or at 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 449, Fairfax, Virginia 22035 or FEMA general at 202-646-2500.
Chief, Watershed Modeling and Analysis Branch