Land Surveying’s Role in Assessing Storm Damage

Land Surveying for storm damage and flooding

Precision Surveying and Consulting worked overtime to assist our clients with Missouri River flooding preparations in 2019!

In the Midwest, fierce storms and flooding can have devastating effects on a community. From flooding to tornados, storms create massive amounts of damage in a very short time. While severe weather can be unpredictable, there are strategies we can implement to mitigate its effects on property and people. Land surveying can help with assessing the damage wrought by a storm and gathering data to assist with rebuilding the community. Though, it takes years of training and assessments to learn how to do the job effectively and successfully. Due to the legal implications involved with the profession, land surveyors must be precise and thorough with their work, especially in the case of surveying storm damage.

Land Surveying’s Role in Assessing Storm Damage

A lot can happen during the aftermath of a storm, and assessing the damage is a lengthy process. Land surveyors must gather information properly to ensure the rebuilding of the community can withstand future extreme weather events.

So, what is land surveying’s role in assessing storm damage, and what responsibilities does the surveyor have?

Surveying & Assessing Flood Damage

The land surveyor has the following duties for assessing communities ravaged by severe weather events.

Interacting with the Local Community

Land surveyors are part of the first team of personnel that start working on a reconstruction project to rebuild a community after a storm. They must have good communication skills to assist them in dealing with local residents looking for information on recovery efforts in the area.

Resolving Property Disputes

Severe storms can erase or displace property boundaries. The surveyor assists with settling disputes between landowners to prevent arguments and lawsuits by community members.

Relocating Displaced Residents

Land surveyors work with disaster relief officials, identifying locations for temporary residential housing. They must establish property lines to ensure residents with damaged homes have sufficient shelter until the community is rebuilt.

Reestablishing Property Lines

Areas that experience total destruction of property markers require land surveyors to reestablish private and public property boundaries.

Identifying Safe Areas for New Construction

Some areas might not be safe to build on after a storm. Land surveyors identify situations where shifts in the topography make it unsuitable for construction projects.

Communicating with Engineers and Architects

Land surveyors collaborate with these professionals on community reconstruction projects designed to prevent or mitigate similar disastrous events caused by future extreme weather and storms.

Rebuilding Bridges

Locations with washed-out bridges might be unsuitable for reconstruction. The surveyor works with local government authorities to establish a site for a new bridge project.

Assessing & Identifying Topography Changes

Storm surges and flooding might dramatically alter the local topography. Land surveyors assess the topographical changes during assessments, allowing new development projects to adapt to alterations in the local landscape.

Identifying Damage-Prone Areas

Land surveyors identify the changes in floodplain boundaries after a storm and how shifts in topography make the area susceptible to damage from future rainstorms, snowfalls, and mudslides.

Establishing Safety Buffers

Local officials might require the land surveyor to establish “buffer zones” to prevent or mitigate future damage and losses from flooding or coastal storm surges.

The Preventative Role of Land Surveying

Before a storm ever arrives, the land surveyor is responsible for assessing the area to determine how likely flooding may impact a site. Land surveying helps determine if properties lie in a flood zone to assist insurers with evaluating the risk involved with the area.

Determining Flood Zones

The land surveyor will review the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood maps to see if a community is in a flood-prone location. Some maps might be outdated, so the land surveyor must understand the relevancy of the assessment data.

The impact of climate change on the world creates changes in local systems and their exposure to extreme weather events. Therefore, the surveyor needs to understand shifts in the local environment.

Flood Zone Surveys

The assessment of gathering relevant data on the potential for an area to experience a flood is called a flood zone elevation survey. Surveyors lay the groundwork during this assessment for a flood elevation certificate used in purchasing flood insurance.

For instance, homeowners may avoid purchasing flood insurance from insurers if a property lies in a designated FEMA flood zone if an independent land survey considers it beyond the flood elevation level.

Precision Surveying & Consulting

3D Laser Scanning | Land Surveying | Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

Established in 1999, we operate nationwide with vast experience in a diverse range of services. Our products and services are suitable for Industrial, Medical, Data Centers, and Commercial Sites. We employ highly skilled and experienced professionals and a licensed surveyor, licensed in the state of Nebraska, allowing us to process and certify all our data in-house. The security and confidentiality of our client’s data are paramount to our working practices. We bring extensive experience and professionalism to every project and customize our support to your individual needs and concerns.

Contact Precision Surveying & Consulting to learn more!