Understanding flood zones and their impact on your property

Staying informed about the risks that severe weather events, especially flooding, pose to your property is becoming increasingly important. With the increase in these types of events in recent years, understanding flood zones and their implications has never been more crucial. Let’s look into these challenges and the tools available to navigate flood-related risks.

The growing risk of flooding

The frequency and severity of weather-related events, including flooding, have seen a notable increase, posing a significant risk to property owners. This risk often translates into financial hardship due to the damage caused and the potential for increased insurance premiums. Certain areas, like Auckland and Westport, for example, face heightened challenges, with insurance becoming harder to secure.

This issue arises because the systems we rely on every day, like roads, bridges, and drainage, are facing too much pressure and are not performing adequately. This means they can’t handle the extra water from floods or the damage that storms bring. It’s increasingly important for the local councils to step in and repair or upgrade these systems to make them strong enough to deal with severe weather and flooding. If this action is taken and improvements made, then insurance companies might feel more comfortable offering insurance in affected areas again. This would help property owners, especially in areas where it’s been tough to get insurance due to the high risk of flooding.

The role of mapping tools

Mapping tools play a vital role in assessing flood risks. One such tool is the Searise website which offers insights into sea-level rise and vertical land movement (VLM) around Aotearoa’s coastlines. This tool considers climate change’s impact on sea levels and the country’s tectonic activity, which can accelerate the effects of sea-level rise in subsiding coastal areas.

Another tool specific to the Auckland region is the Auckland Council’s flood zone mapping site. This website offers an interactive tool for identifying and understanding flood risks at specific addresses. Users can search for a property, view its location on a map along with any available flooding data, and explore detailed information about different types of flood hazards. It also provides resources on how to prepare for storms, including what actions to take before, during, and after an event.

Managing insurance in flood-prone areas

For anyone who owns property in New Zealand, understanding flood zones and leveraging available resources is crucial. This knowledge enables effective risk management and informed decision-making, ensuring properties are better protected against flood-related challenges. Insurance may not always be the saviour for these challenges, which underscores the importance of being well-informed about your property’s potential future risks. A proactive approach involves adopting strategies to make your property more resistant to flooding, which means making changes to ensure your property can better withstand flood events. These changes include using building materials and methods that are less likely to be damaged by water, raising the structure of your property if possible, and keeping up with the local area’s plans to manage flood risks. By taking these steps, you can reduce the impact of flooding, protect the value of your property, and be better prepared for future flooding events.