Critical Infrastructure Flood Vulnerability, Assessment, Mitigation and Protection: Lessons Learned

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GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc. has successfully completed flood vulnerability assessments and mitigation design for critical infrastructure located throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Great Lakes regions of the U.S. A few key lessons learned include:   

  • “Risk-informed” decision making should be used to define the appropriate level of flood risk and protection. This approach quantifies the flood risk in terms of the probabilities of flood events and their consequences (cost of damages, lost production, etc.) and supports decision making based on cost-benefit analyses.
  • Involvement of the flood insurance provider is critical and the insurance premiums should be matched to the level of flood risk that the facility is protected against.   
  • The characterization of flood risks should utilize current, “state-of-the-practice” statistical analyses and numerical flood models.
  • Flood protection does not have to be cost-prohibitive, and temporary flood protection measures (if properly planned for and implemented) can provide significant protection at minimal cost.     

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