Flood Risks in Puerto Rico & Indoor Environmental Issues Associated with Damaged Properties
Zimmetry Environmental provides testing and consulting services to identify indoor environmental hazards related to flood damage.
Flooding can and has caused devastating damage to homes and businesses in Puerto Rico in the past so it’s important that people understand flood risks in their area, especially since most standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover it.
Islands in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, are known to experience severe weather that often leads to flooding. While many people think immediately to flooding threats caused by hurricanes such as Hurricane Hugo, which caused approximately $1 billion in damage to Puerto Rico, hurricanes and tropical storms are not the only causes.
Flood risks are also based on a number of factors, including: rainfall, river-flow and tidal-surge, topography, flood-control measures, and changes due to building and development in an area.
As defined by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a flood is a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow. While flooding can happen anywhere, certain areas are especially prone to serious flooding. This is especially true for large populations in Puerto Rico that reside in known floodplains.
To help communities understand their risk, Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) have been created to show the locations of high-risk, moderate- to low-risk and undetermined-risk areas.
- In a high-risk area, there is at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. All home and business owners in these areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to buy flood insurance.
- In moderate- to low-risk areas, the risk of being flooded is reduced, but not completely removed. Flood insurance isn’t federally required in moderate- to low-risk areas, but it is recommended for all property owners and renters.
- In undetermined-risk areas, no flood-hazard analysis has been conducted in these areas, but a flood risk still exists.
“Flooding can and has caused devastating damage to homes and businesses in Puerto Rico in the past so it’s important that people understand flood risks in their area, especially since most standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover it,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “People need to recognize that just because a flood hasn’t occurred in a particular area in people’s memory, that doesn’t mean it won’t occur in the future.”
Homes and businesses that do experience flooding may face more than just damaged building materials, belongings or even structural damage. Many also encounter indoor environmental issues ranging from mold, bacteria and viruses to chemical contaminants. Older properties with lead-based paints and asbestos-containing materials are also often a hazard during flood cleanup, demolition and repair activities.
People in Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean can turn to Zimmetry’s building science and indoor environmental quality professionals for help identifying these types of hazards. Zimmetry also recently sponsored a video about flood risks, property damage and indoor environmental concerns that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/uEomZzY07Kw
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their building science, indoor environmental quality, compliance and consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email email@example.com .
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.
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- Contact Information
- Paul Cochrane
- Cochrane & Associates, LLC
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