The Future Innovation in Flood Barriers

Flood Barriers

Although they work well, temporary flood barriers take time and labor to set up. Installing a permanent, in-situ flood barrier may wind up being more economical in the long run, depending on the site’s characteristics and the frequency of floods. Numerous passives, recessed, permanent flood barriers are available that don’t need to be deployed. Flood barriers can occasionally rise from a recessed position until they are completely upright and automatically seal due to hydrostatic pressure from increasing floodwaters. A few products, like Aquafragma, will sound an alert prior to deployment. While they frequently have faster deployment durations than temporary barriers, other permanent obstacles need human interaction.

Compared to temporary barriers, permanent barriers need less setup and cleaning since they may be readily deployed and retracted till the end of their useful life. It is possible to combine retractable permanent barriers with other permanent flood barriers, including flood walls. Retractable barriers can be positioned in openings and crevices in the flood walls to provide building access and movement until the rising waters of the flood need the retractable barrier to be deployed.

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Depending on the kind of barrier erected, different types of maintenance will be required to guarantee that it is prepared for deployment in the event of flooding. Installation of permanent retractable barriers at existing locations will necessitate building and excavation since they are frequently set into the ground before being deployed. Because non-passive barriers usually need for shorter foundations, excavation expenses will be reduced. It’s also a good idea to consult an engineer to confirm structural soundness and decide the best location; some vendors, like FloodBreak, include engineer certification with every purchase.


  • The use of passive barriers reduces the requirement for employee training as well as human intervention in a number of areas, including as deployment, demounting, and storage. Even with active barriers, permanent barriers that require human interaction to deploy frequently have shorter deployment durations.
  • Because passive barriers don’t require energy, they can prevent flooding all the time.
  • It is not necessary to erect passive barriers in advance of a flood occurrence. This allows site access before to storm waters reaching the building site, protecting against flash floods.
  • Passive barriers are set up on-site and usually made to fit the specific requirements of the location.
  • It is possible to alter recessed permanent barriers to reduce the amount of visual interference with buildings.
  • FEMA recommends passive barriers as the best management approach for reducing the risk of flooding.


  • To erect permanent barriers, on-site excavation and construction are typically required.
  • The initial expenses for barriers that need on-site construction will be considerably greater than those for temporary barriers and flood shields.
  • In order to enhance efficacy for bigger sites, passive barriers typically need to be paired with additional site protection measures (such as flood walls), due to their greater cost.

Implications Of Regulatory Requirements

In Boston and Massachusetts, possible regulatory touchpoints include:

  • Building Code
  • Permit Inspection Services Department
  • Fire Department

Financial Options, Rebates, And Incentives

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance: Through three grant programs, FEMA funds the mitigation of floods and other disasters.

  • Program for Hazard Mitigation Grants
  • Pre-Disaster Relief
  • Assistance with Flood Mitigation
  • The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency provides further details and application guidelines here. The only projects eligible are non-residential dry floodproofing improvements.

Funding for Hazard Mitigation Local, state, tribal, and certain non-profit institutions destroyed by catastrophes may use Section 406 money to rehabilitate damaged facilities and implement proactive measures for future flood prevention, as per Section 406 of the Stafford Act.

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