“The Greatest Flood in World History”: 100th anniversary of one of the nation’s worst natural disasters

By Jeff Satterly and Robert Muhlhauser, HistoricNaturalDisasters.com

The week of March 21st through 26th marks the 100-year anniversary of one of the worst – and least talked-about – natural disasters in US history. During this week in 1913 a series of mighty storms tore through the Midwest, causing billions of dollars in damage and killing hundreds. From Nebraska to New York, and from Iowa to Louisiana, a large swath of the nation was hit by tornados, floods, rain, and snow.

First came the tornados which hit during the three day period of March 21st to the 23rd, 1913. Tearing through Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Nebraska, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, and Indiana, these storms killed over 240 people. The worst damage was done to Omaha, which had a tornado cut right through the middle of the city. The category F4 twister threw trees through houses and flung cars miles away. Once the storm had passed through the city, fires started to burn what little was left. In all, 115 people were killed and the city suffered over $ 8 million in damage ($ 187 million in today’s dollars.


After the tornados had torn through the land, the rains came. Runoff from oversaturated watersheds like the Greater Miami in Ohio led to runoff which filled the rivers and streams of the Midwest until they began to overflow their banks. Levees, dams, and bridges snapped like twigs from the pressure of the raging waters. Cities and towns were swallowed whole by the flood waters.

Dayton, Ohio was the worst hit city of all, with over 14 square miles under water by March 26th. Some areas of the city simply vanished in up to 20 feet of water. The rushing waters tore houses and businesses from their foundations and took out miles of railroad tracks and bridges. The floods in Dayton ultimately caused 360 deaths and over $ 100 million in damage (over $ 2 billion in today’s dollars).


Peru, Indiana was another heavily flooded town during this week. The dam they constructed to prevent the flood waters from entering the city collapsed as soon as the waters hit it. Once the water started rushing into the streets the city was plunged into darkness as the electrical and gas plants were incapacitated by flooding. Once the citizens were rescued and deposited to one of two “islands” being used as refuge, many of them fell ill as diphtheria, measles, small pox, and mumps were all reported. 20 died in Peru from the flood, but many others died in the weeks after from these illnesses.

Cleanup efforts from the disasters took over a year in many cases, and the economies of cities like Dayton wouldn’t recover from the devastation for over a decade.


We’d like to thank some of the great archives and archivists who have done so much to work to help preserve the amazing history of the 1913 flood, including the Dayton Metro Library and historian Trudy Bell. The amount of history compiled at these two websites is truly amazing. Lastly, thanks to Jason from InsuranceTown.com, who lent us some of the resources we used to help prepare content for the web and publish our blog, and inspired our Mapping History Contest.

Don’t forget to check out HistoricNaturalDisasters.com for more images, and for information on our Mapping History Contest – help us figure out the locations pictured in historic photos from 1913 and you could win $ 100!

Doug Ross @ Journal

A way to Notice FEMA Flood Insurance Data

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, could be a government agency that is designed to help the Yankee public within the event of a natural disaster. One amongst the foremost common natural disasters could be a hurricane, but they are doing offer assistance with alternative natural disasters. When a hurricane hits land, a massive variety of homes are damaged. A large percentage of that harm is due to flooding.

When the federal declares an space as a disaster zone, the govt typically steps in to offer assistance. This assistance comes from the FEMA. Since hurricanes hit the United States each year and a large variety of storms manufacture enough rain to cause flooding, FEMA offers help to those who suffered from flood damage.

One in every of the ways in which that FEMA has offered help is by overseeing the National Flood Insurance Program. The National Flood Insurance Program is meant to give all householders access to cheap flood insurance. Since the National Flood Insurance Program is regulated by FEMA, many individuals check with the assistance as FEMA flood insurance.

There is a giant quantity of FEMA flood insurance data that is obtainable to the general public. Sadly, a large number of people do not know how to go concerning getting that information. This will cause a variety of issues for homeowners who fall victim to a flood. The best approach to remain informed is to urge understand all that you’ll grasp concerning floods and flood insurance coverage.

If you’re a homeowner who is wanting for FEMA flood insurance data, you have a range of ways to find the information.

The simplest means is to use the net to your advantage. FEMA, like most different government agencies, has an online website. This on-line website contains a large amount of valuable information.

If you are doing not have access to the internet you’ll be able to additionally obtain valuable FEMA flood insurance info by talking to your native officials. If they cannot offer you with the data themselves, they will be able to point you in the correct direction. Just as a result of you do not have access to the net, will not mean that you must be left in the dark.

Another means to seek out valuable FEMA flood insurance info is by contacting a flood insurance agent. Most flood insurance agents provide flood insurance coverage that meets the standards imposed by FEMA. This implies that each agent should be educated on all of the FEMA flood insurance pointers and restrictions. One flood insurance agency that you’ll approach for additional data is AmeriFlood.

AmeriFlood is a licensed flood insurance agent. They provide flood insurance coverage that is approved by the National Flood Insurance Program and FEMA. In addition to obtaining valuable data, you will additionally find low-price flood insurance coverage. Currently, AmeriFlood is giving Americans flood insurance coverage at a discount of 12%.

Whether you are searching for flood insurance or just trying to teach yourself on the newest FEMA flood insurance info, you’ve got a variety of ways in which to hunt assistance. Maintaining-to-date on the latest flood insurance info is the simplest means to form positive that you simply, your home, and your family are protected.

Mai Collier has been writing articles online for nearly 2 years now. Not only does this author specialize in Flood ,you can also check out his latest website about: Vans Shoes On Sale Which reviews and lists the best toddler vans shoes

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Protect Your Home With FEMA Compliant Flood Vents

It May Be A Lot Easier Than You Think

Would you like to understand the FEMA flood vent regulations that apply to your home? And reduce your flood insurance premiums by a sizable amount? This document makes the regulations easy to understand, points out the benefits of installing flood vents, and will help you decide what kind of vents to install.

Properly positioned and installed flood vents in your home’s foundation walls will not only help you protect your investment, they can help you save money. And, despite what you may have heard, the regulations governing their type and placement are easy to understand.

These regulations were stipulated by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Requirements: the Basics

1 – Openings must be installed in foundation walls so that water can flow, unimpeded, in and out of the crawl space without damaging the walls’ integrity. The regulation is easy to remember: one square inch of opening in the foundation wall for every square foot of the area of your house. For example, a 2,000-square-foot crawl space would need 2,000 square inches of opening. The number of flood vents you need to install depends on the size and type of vent you buy. (More on that later.)

2 – Each enclosed area must have a minimum of two openings. If there are multiple enclosed areas within the foundation walls, each area must have at least two openings in its exterior walls.

3 – Flood vents must be below flood level to work. The bottom of each opening must be no more than 1 foot above whichever of these is higher: the interior or exterior grade immediately under the opening.

4 – Any screens, grates, grilles, fixed louvers, or other covers or devices you install must not block or hinder the automatic flow of floodwater into and out of the enclosed area.

Why Are Flood Vents Required?

The purpose of flood vents (also called “flood gates” or “flood ports”) is to reduce structural damage from flooding.

These permanent openings accomplish this objective by allowing water to pass into or out of a building’s exterior foundation walls.

Why is that so important? In a flood situation, if the water pressure inside and outside your home can’t equalize rapidly enough, the windows and doors could blow out. In addition, this pressure can compromise the foundation and make your home unsafe to live in. Studies have shown that houses with proper openings survive a flood; homes without such vents collapse.

Who Needs Flood Vents?

According to its website, the NFIP “requires flood vents for residential basements, crawl spaces, garages, and other enclosed structures that are below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) in Special Flood Hazard Areas.” BFE is the height of the base flood, usually in feet, in relation to the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 or other datum as specified.

If your home isn’t mortgaged, you aren’t required by FEMA/NFIP regulations to have flood insurance or flood vents. However, flood insurance is advisable to protect your investment. And foundation flood vents are still a wise move to ensure that floodwater does not structurally damage your home.

How Cost Savings Add Up

Properly installed and situated flood vents can pay for themselves very quickly. They allow you to save in two ways. The annual reduction on your flood insurance premiums can be considerable. Secondly, should floodwater rise to your home, flood vents can reduce the risk of structural damage, which can be very costly to repair.

Which Type of Flood Vent Should You Install?

There are two types of flood vents on the market: non-engineered and engineered. Engineered vents have been designed in such a way that they provide a more efficient flood relief system, and thus fewer vents will need to be installed.

The opening size of the non-engineered flood vent is calculated by multiplying the width times the height of the opening. The opening size of the engineered flood vent is calculated using a mathematical formula that takes into account certain coefficients, net area and opening shapes. This formula calculation must be certified by a professional engineer. The main difference between the two types of flood vents is that fewer of the engineered flood vents are required to meet NFIP requirements. For example, a non-engineered 8″ x 16″ vent is rated at 128 square inches while an engineered 8″ x 16″ is rated at 200 square inches.

Other design and performance criteria for engineered openings are specified by the American Society of Civil Engineers:

1 – Engineered openings are to perform such that the difference between the exterior and interior water levels shall not exceed 1 foot during base flood conditions.

2 – Engineered openings are to be not less than 3 inches in any direction in the plane of the wall. This requirement applies to the hole in the wall, excluding any screen, grate, grille, louvers, or devices that may be placed in or over the opening. The 3-inch opening requirement applies to the hole in the wall; not the space between the grates, grilles or louvers.

In a Nutshell: Numbers to Remember

FEMA’s flood insurance requirements boil down to this:

1 – One square inch of opening in a foundation wall per square foot of house.

2 – Vents must be less than 12 inches above the ground.

3 – Two vents per enclosed area, on different exterior walls.

That’s it. Make sure you have the appropriate flood vents installed — or do it yourself — then call your flood insurance company to get a reduction in your premiums. You’ll also enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that you’re not only compliant, you’re safer.

William G. Sykes is an inventor, product designer, member of the International Code Council, engineer and patent attorney. He specializes in crawl space and foundation protection products for flood protection, ventilation and encapsulation (flood vents, air vents, doors and fans). Learn more about crawl space and foundation protection and how to save money on your flood insurance premiums by visiting our website

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