Companies can take action to minimize the risk to their businesses and facilities related to changes in climate.
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Developed Best Practices

In Coastal Virginia recurrent flooding can damage facilities and impede transportation of their workforce, materials and/or supplies. The adaptation and resilience strategies provided below focus on protecting facilities from the impacts of flooding, including recurrent flooding or flooding related to larger storm systems.

Companies that implement the strategies below can protect their business facilities, reduce flood risk, and restore operations quickly after a flooding event.

Practices for Waterfront Industries

Below are examples of cost-effective strategies to prepare waterfront industries for flooding.

These strategies were developed by the City of New York’s Department of City Planning after Hurricane Sandy devastated their waterfront industries.

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Electrical Systems

Elevate power generators above the Design Flood Elevation (DFE).


Elevate on a concrete pad or steel platform.

Approximate cost

$41,800 for concrete platform to raise.

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Wet Floodproof


Wet floodproofing includes measures applied to a structure or its contents that prevent or provide resistance to damage from flooding while allowing floodwaters to enter the structure.

Approximate cost

$1,750 per flood vent.

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HVAC Systems

Install the HVAC system on the building roof


1. Locating the HVAC system on the roof of a building to reduce the likelihood of exposure to floodwaters.

All pictures from Resilient Industry Mitigation and Preparedness in the City’s Industrial Floodplain

Download a PowerPoint summary of cost-effective strategies to prepare waterfront industries for flooding

Stormwater and Flooding Intervention Best Practices

Below are examples of cost-effective stormwater and flooding intervention strategies that include stormwater retention/filtration systems, and barriers for flood protection and intervention. These strategies were developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VA DEQ) and are located in the Virginia Stormwater Best Management Practice Clearinghouse and USEPA website.

Stormwater Retention/Filtration Techniques

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Rainwater Harvesting

It is possible to lessen the impact of stormwater quantity and quality by utilizing rainwater harvesting devices. As a consequence of this, the runoff will proceed at a slower rate, and the rainfall will be retained.

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Permeable Pavements

Permeable pavements can absorb and store precipitation. Many varied materials can be used including pervious concrete, porous asphalt, and permeable interlocking pavers.

Cost: The costs of pervious concrete and permeable interlocking concrete pavers is $17-$21 per square foot.

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Green Roofs

Green roofs consist of growing media and flora, allowing for the infiltration and evaporation of runoff. They are commonly found on high and large industrial buildings, as well as some residential residences.

Barriers for Flood Protection and Intervention

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Self-Deploying Walls

A Self Closing Flood Barrier (SCFB) is a self-deploying wall that is constructed flush with the existing grade, and when flooding occurs, the water pressure will cause the SCFB to be activated automatically as a flood barrier.

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Temporary Flood Walls/Barriers

Prior to flooding, temporary flood walls/barriers control and redirect water away from vulnerable structures and entrances. There are several types of temporary flood barriers and selection will be based be based on specific needs.

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Backflow Prevention Devices for Stormwater Piping

Backflow prevention devices for stormwater piping such as tidal check valves filter raw sewage, debris, sand, and mud during the flash flooding runoffs.

Shoreline Erosion Protection & Control Best Practices

Below are examples of cost-effective strategies to protect shoreline and control erosion with structural and natural and nature-based measures. These best practices were compiled from North Atlantic Regional Assessment Report developed by the Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources Baltimore District and the Shoreline Management in Chesapeake Bay report developed by the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences

Structural Measures

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Seawalls and Bulkhead

Seawalls and bulkheads are comprised of structural reinforced concrete to withstand wave force. Vertical faces reflect wave energy and cause currents to scour the substrate at the structure’s toe. Thus, concrete seawalls and bulkheads reflect waves, preventing sand from settling on the water side.



Revetments frequently strengthen the beach by using rocks in an engineered design. Wave reflection and the resulting bottom scour are reduced by the sloping and roughed faces of stone revetments. Other substrates, like concrete, cloth bags filled with concrete, and gabion baskets, can also be used to build revetments.



In order to catch sediment carried by littoral transport, groins are frequent coast protection structures that are placed perpendicular to the shoreline and attached to the shore.

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Natural and Nature-based Measures

Natural and nature-based measures to reduce shoreline erosion include redirecting tidal inlet characteristics, marsh fringe and dredging.

excavator picking up soil as part of coastal Virginia's flood preparedness

Dredging and Beneficial Use

Most North Atlantic harbors and ports’ main defense against shoaling (sediment accretion) is dredging. Shoaling slows down ship movements and has an impact on the local, regional, and global economies.

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Marsh Fringe

With fetch exposures of less than 0.5 nautical miles, planted marshes are frequently employed to establish a protective fringe along low-energy shorelines, such as tidal streams.

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Beach Nourishment

Beach nourishment is the practice of adding large volumes of beach-quality sand, dredged from nearby navigation channels or offshore shoals, onto beaches.

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Additional Resources

Flood Mitigation Industry Association (FMIA) – a resource for building elevation, dry flood proofing and wet flood proofing. FMIA Resources include Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Technical Bulletins and Coastal Construction Manuals as well as a Flood Barrier Product List.

Visit FMIA Resources