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Buildings and Sites

If any substantial changes are planned to prepare a historic building for a disaster please refer to the Secretary of Interiors Standards for the Treatment of Historic Structures and check with all local and state authorities before making any changes.


The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. (www.photolib.noaa.gov)

  • Anchor the building to resist flotation
  • Raise utility components & other equipment above flood level
  • Ensure proper foundation drainage
  • Strengthen wall against flood waters and debris

3“Protecting Your Property from Flooding”, FEMA, 25 Jan 2007.

As The Flood Waters Recede- A Checklist of Things To Do

From Treatment of Flood-Damaged Older and Historic Buildings (PDF)

The following checklist will help you respond to flood damage in historic and older buildings. Read the steps through carefully and take time to plan. While it is tempting to wade right in with a shovel and mop, it is very important to develop a plan for cleanup and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, overly zealous cleanup efforts can result in historic materials being carted away, excessively rough cleaning methods, and the unnecessary loss of historic fabric. The best way to prevent additional damage to historic structures and materials during a time of duress is to use caution and plan ahead.

  • Follow all emergency rules, laws, and regulations
  • Turn off all utilities
  • Document building damage
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Stabilize any unstable structures with temporary bracing
  • Use caution when pumping basement water
  • Keep building properly ventilated
  • Clean everything that got wet with a disinfectant
  • Allow saturated materials to dry using natural ventilation
  • Check for foundation damage
  • Replace soil around foundation
  • Save historic materials if possible
  • Use caution when removing lead-based paint or any products containing asbestos
  • Clean and repair roof and roof drainage systems to protect building from future damage

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