December Key Message: You Can Protect Your Property From Flooding

You can protect your property from flooding!

Flooding can happen anywhere in Tulsa. It is particularly important to be prepared for flooding if you live or work in a low-lying area near a river, stream, or culvert, downstream from a dam or near a levee. Per the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), more than 25 percent of all flood claims each year come from properties outside of areas at high-risk for flooding. You can protect your property from flooding by being aware of your property’s risk and by improving some of the flood-prone parts of your property.

Learn if you live or work in an area that is prone to flooding. To help communities understand their risk of flooding, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) creates flood maps (Flood Insurance Rate Maps, or FIRMs) to show the locations of high-risk, moderate-to-low risk and undetermined risk areas. To check your flood risk, enter your address at this FEMA website or see the City of Tulsa Floodplain Map Atlas. Contact Tulsa’s Customer Care Center at 311 (in Tulsa) or at (918) 596-7777 to request a Flood Zone Determination.

Protect your property and manage your risk. Take these steps to protect your property from flood damage:

– Purchase flood insurance. Flood insurance is available for all homeowners, renters, and business owners within the City of Tulsa. Typical insurance policies do not cover flood losses, so you will need to purchase separate flood insurance if your property is at risk for flooding. Visit for an estimate of what flood insurance may cost for your property. A policy purchased today will take effect in 30 days, so act now.

– Elevate the heating/cooling system (furnace/air conditioner), water heater and electric panel if the current location is susceptible to flooding.

– Install “check valves” in sewer lines to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains.

– Seal foundation cracks and waterproof the basement with waterproofing compounds.

– Install sump pumps with battery backup.

– Stockpile emergency building materials (e.g., plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber nails, a hammer and saw, a pry bar, shovels, and sandbags) to construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering your property.

– In areas with repetitive flooding, consider elevating or relocating the building.

– Keep gutters and drains free of debris and check your foundation to ensure that the landscaping slopes away from the building.

For questions about flood-resistant construction or flood insurance, request to speak to a Certified Floodplain Manager at the City of Tulsa by calling Tulsa’s Customer Care Center at 311 (in Tulsa) or at (918) 596-7777

In partnership with the City of Tulsa, the Disaster Resilience Network shares these monthly key messages from the Program for Public Information (PPI) as part of the National Flood Insurance Program – Community Rating System. This outreach assists our community in keeping low flood insurance rates. Tulsa property owners and renters are eligible to receive up to a 40 percent discount on flood insurance rates.

Tim Lovell