Protection Assistance

There are several different ways to help make your home safer during a flood. Some methods include:
  • building a small flood wall, earthen berm, or ditch
  • placing watertight closures over the doorways
  • raising the structure
  • re-grading your lot to slope away from the building
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has prepared Publication P-312, Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting (2014) specifically for homeowners who want to know how to protect their homes from flooding. As a homeowner, you need clear information about the options available to you and straightforward guidance that will help you make decisions. This guide gives you both, in a form designed for readers who have little or no experience with flood protection methods or building techniques. Click here to get a copy of the guide.

All of the above requires a permit. Continue reading to learn where you can find more detailed information on what these methods involve.

Substantial Improvement Requirements


The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires that existing buildings meet the same construction requirements as a new building if the cost of reconstruction, rehabilitation, repair, addition, or other improvements equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s market value.

Financial Assistance for Property Protection


Mitigation of the flood risk to properties will reduce the overall costs of flood insurance claims to the NFIP as well as to individual homeowners. Accordingly, Congress has created a variety of funding sources to help property owners reduce their exposure to flood damage.
  • FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs provide funding for eligible mitigation activities that reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future disaster damages.
  • Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) provides funds for the implementation of mitigation projects prior to a disaster. The goal of the PDM program is to reduce overall risk to the population and structures, while at the same time, also reducing reliance on Federal funding from actual disaster declarations.
  • The Repetitive Flood Claims (RFC) provides funds to reduce the risk of flood damage to individual properties insured under the NFIP that have had one or more claim payments for flood damages.
You can visit FEMA’s Website for information about these grants programs. The City’s Engineering and Community Development Department can provide additional information on financial assistance.

Flood Protection Assistance


The Building Division (954-630-4350) offers property protection 1-on-1 advice, such as retrofitting techniques and drainage improvements. A site visit may be made before providing the advice. The City will provide financial assistance advice (FAA) on certain financial assistance programs that may be available through Federal, State, and County governmental entities. This advisory service is part of the City’s Program for Public Information (PPI). Department adviser training personnel have taken EMI courses on retrofitting or grants programs.

Natural Floodplain Maintenance

Natural, unpaved areas in the City can collect and retain stormwater runoff during rainfall events.  This can be grassy common areas in Homeowner Associations, grassy medians in roads and parking lots, or the many parks and conservation areas in our City, including Easterlin Park, Mills Pond Park, and Lakeside Sand Pines Preserve, for example. These natural areas also enhance the stormwater runoff water quality by filtering it through the ground into the aquifer. Click here to see a map and a listing of parks and natural areas in Oakland Park.  It is everyone’s responsibility to protect these beneficial natural areas and keep them clean!

To learn more, go to the Broward County Public Library catalog and search for the publication, “Protecting Floodplain Resources:  A Guidebook for Communities”, or go to FEMA’s website, fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/475.

Evacuation Information

Evacuations are ordered to protect coastal residents from the dangerous storm surge.  Broward County has two types of evacuation plans.  The type of evacuation ordered will be based upon the severity of a storm: 

Evacuation Plan A – for Hurricane Category 1 or 2:
  • Storm surge is 4-7 feet above sea level with winds of 74-110 miles per hour.
  • All mobile home residents, residents beside tidal bodies of water and in low lying areas, and residents east of the Intracoastal Waterway should evacuate

Evacuation Plan B – for Hurricane Category 3 or higher:

  • Storm surge is 7-11 feet above sea level with winds of 111 miles per hour or greater.
  • In addition to those required to evacuate under Evacuation Plan A, all residents east of U.S. 1 (Federal Highway) should evacuate.

If residents in your location are NOT told to evacuate, it does not mean you are safe in your home from destructive winds and/or flood waters.