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The primary objective of flood proofing is to reduce or avoid the impacts of coastal flooding on structures. This may include elevating them above the floodplain, employing designs and building materials that make them more resilient to flood damage, and preventing floodwaters from entering them in the flood zone, amongst other measures.
Flood proofing measures are broadly applied in the United States, where two types are widely recognised: wet and dry. Wet flood proofing reduces damage from flooding in three ways: (1) allowing flood waters to easily enter and exit a structure in order to minimise structural damage, (2) use of flood damage resistant materials, and (3) elevating important utilities. By contrast, dry flood proofing is the practice of making a building watertight or substantially impermeable to floodwaters up to a predicted flood height (FEMA 2008). Flood proofing can be applied to residential and non-residential buildings and its design principles can also be applied to other infrastructure such as electricity substations and sewage treatment works.