How do I protect my property from erosion, flash flooding, mudflows, and debris flow?

You can prepare yourself and your property by making sure that water can flow freely around your structure. That means clearing debris from any culverts or ravines that can help direct rainwater away from your residents. Channels, diversion barriers, and deflection walls can help to redirect flows. These must be installed carefully so that they don’t redirect the flow towards structures, foundations, or unstable slopes. Sandbags are a good temporary solution as they can slow the momentum of smaller mudslides. Other actions you may consider:

  • Make sure downspouts carry water away from your structure to well-drained areas
  • Make sure your furnace and water-heater are at least 1’ above the floor to avoid impacts from flooding.
  • Secure fuel tanks and other items on your property that may become dislodged by floodwaters. 
  • Ensure electrical components are at least one foot above the anticipated flood line and/or have watertight connections.
  • Review Napa County’s post-fire erosion control guidance materials

Show All Answers

1. How should we prepare our property for rain?
2. How does fire contribute to flooding and erosion hazards?
3. What does fire do to the soil?
4. What are hydrophobic soils?
5. How does fire turn soil hydrophobic?
6. How do I tell if my soil is hydrophobic?
7. What is a flash flood?
8. What is debris flow?
9. What is a mudflow?
10. Debris flows and mudflows sound similar. How are they different?
11. What is the difference between a debris flow and a landslide?
12. Why are debris flows and mudslides so dangerous?
13. Where do debris flows occur?
14. What are the flooding and debris flow impacts that could potentially occur after a fire? For how long after the fire am I facing potential threats?
15. What type or size of storm event should I be concerned with?
16. What are some of the warning signs of a potential landslide or debris flow?
17. What effect does fire have on the trees on my property?
18. What steps should I take before removing trees on my property?
19. Can I remove trees that do not pose a health and safety hazard?
20. Does it matter what type of trees I would like to remove?
21. Can I remove burned trees and install a vineyard or other project in their place?
22. My property did not burn. Should I be concerned with post-fire debris flow and/or erosion?
23. Are there other organizations and agencies that can provide financial and technical assistance tree removal and watershed protection?
24. How do I protect my property from erosion, flash flooding, mudflows, and debris flow?
25. I'm concerned that using straw mulch as erosion control will increase my fire risk.
26. What is the purpose of the debris flow mitigation advice that Engineering offers in fire-affected areas?
27. I rent or lease my home. Will Napa County notify me and provide me debris flow mitigation advice?
28. Will Napa County install the erosion control measures for me on my property?
29. Where can I get assistance in placing erosion control measures on my property?
30. What do I do about debris that deposits on my property?