Flood Prevention & Preparedness

Mitigation means anything that can be done to reduce the impact of a natural hazard. We mitigate because there are an increasing number of flood events, escalating costs for response and recovery, and repetitive loss from those events. Many of SMC's day-to-day operations focus on flood mitigation efforts and the following are a few of the ways we've been working hard to reduce and/or eliminate flood damages.

Sources: Ready.gov (12.09.2021), FEMA

Flood Safety Information

When a flood is imminent or occurring, your first priority should be the physical safety of you, your loved ones, and your pets (FEMA).Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Failing to evacuate flooded areas or entering flood waters can lead to injury or death. If you are under a flood warning: find safe shelter right away; do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters – Turn Around, Don’t Drown; stay off bridges over fast-moving water; and remember that just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away. Depending on the type of flooding, you may need to evacuate, move to higher ground or a higher floor, and/or stay where you are.Car driving through flood waters


Flood Preparedness

There are a few steps you and your family can take to be ready for flooding: get flood insurance, know your flood risk, take a household inventory, and store important documents. It typically takes up to 30 days for a flood insurance policy to go into effect, so the time to buy is well before a disaster. Make a plan for your household, including your pets, so that you and your family know what to do, where to go, and what you will need to protect yourselves from flooding.Large-scale flooding Opens in new window

The best way to protect your home and belongings from flood damage is to purchase flood insurance – don’t let your hard work be washed away! 


Flood Recovery

After a flood, many dangers can still exist even after floodwaters go down in some areas. Remember to follow FEMA’s safety recommendations, stay healthy, refer to the American Red Cross’ booklet Repairing Your Flooded Home (below), and get help. If you prepare and take protective actions, your flooded home can be cleaned up, dried out, rebuilt, and reoccupied sooner than you think. Drone image of flooding in Gurnee


Flood Mitigation

Take steps to protect your home, family, and financial security throughout the year. SMC's Voluntary Floodplain Buyout Program is heavily reliant on the availability of federal funds, so it’s important to apply for this program well before the next flood. When it comes to floodproofing your home, you may be able to make some changes yourself; however, complicated or large-scale changes and those that affect the structure of your house or electrical wiring and plumbing should be carried out only by a professional contractor licensed to work in your state, county, or city. See options and helpful documents below.

SMC's Voluntary Floodplain Buyout Program

The SMC Voluntary Floodplain Buyout Program (PDF) is one of the most cost-effective flood reduction tools SMC has in its mitigation toolbox. Buying and removing flood-prone structures ensure they are not damaged by floods in the future. 

SMC's buyout program is heavily reliant on the availability of federal funds, which are then leveraged with local cost-share funds. FEMA, working through the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, has provided over $13 million towards SMC's buyout program since 1997. To date, over 200 homes and parcels have been purchased, including the Gurnee Grade School. FEMA uses a cost analysis formula to rate the structure for a possible buyout. SMC's buyout program follows FEMA's guidelines.

SMC maintains a list of properties that are candidates for buyouts when funds become available. If you would like to be considered for SMC's buyout program please review the following documents and fill out survey, cost questionnaire and statement of interest and send to Sharon Osterby, 847-377-7706.

CubaTwp Residental Flooding Opens in new window

  1. (fill this form out and send to Sharon Osterby)
  2. Buyout Guidelines for Property Owners Brochure
  3. Buyout Program FAQs
  4. FEMA Homeowner Guide to HMA Program

Floodproofing Measures

2017 Floodproofing Expo and Workshop:

FEMA Technical Bulletins