There are natural methods that can help reduce flood damage.
Open Space is any piece of land that is not developed (no buildings or built structures). Open space can lower flood risk by providing a buffer for flood water to inundate that will not cause damage to homes, buildings, or other built structures. Open space can be used in a number of ways such as parks, school yards, empty lots or other recreational spaces. Green space refers to an open space that is populated with trees and shrubbery.
Green Infrastructure is infrastructure that incorporates vegetation, soil, pebbles and other natural filtration and absorption systems into storm water management. Green infrastructure includes methods like incorporating permeable pavements, planter boxes, bioswales, and more.
Dunes provide protection against flood damage in coastal communities. Sand dunes protect against storm surge and high waves, reducing damage to homes and infrastructure. They also provide a storage area for sand in the event beaches are eroded and need to be replenished. However, dunes are not just piles of sand (this is a berm). A dune is created naturally when sand accumulates against an obstacle and is anchored with native dune vegetation root systems. Man-made Dunes are constructed against dune fencing and populated with the proper vegetation.
Landscaping can also provide a way to manipulate storm water runoff to prevent flood damage. Berms can be used to direct flood waters in a particular direction. Rain gardens are another good landscape addition that gives rainwater a place to pool safely. Driveways can be made from permeable materials, which allows water to be absorbed rather than diverting it into streets.