World Executives Digest | 5 Key Strategies for Keeping Your Business Safe From Flooding | Floods are the most common natural disaster in the US, but that doesn’t always mean we’re prepared to face them.
Worse, if you’re in a location prone to storms or heavy rainfall, flooding can happen with virtually no warning at all. Flooded lower floors, mold, structural damage, and ruined goods are likely to result from these dangerous events—not to mention costly downtime.
Protecting your business from floods takes time and effort on the front end, but preparing your strategies in advance can help you get back on your feet after a disaster. Here are five key tips to follow.
Perform a Risk Assessment
Do your homework to learn how serious the risk is for your specific property. Look up your base flood elevation (BFE) online to get a better idea of the hazards that homes and businesses in your area will face during flood events, and plan for the worst depending on your location.
In terms of employee safety, you should also find the emergency response plan for your location and make sure it’s up to date, or create your own if no plan has been made.
Get Insurance to Protect Your Property
The average flood insurance claim was almost $90,000 from 2011-2015, so it’s important to have insurance so you don’t pay these costs out of pocket.
Getting flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself from floods. Don’t forget to understand what items, tools, and machinery are covered under your plan.
Take Steps to Reduce the Risk of Damage From Flooding
To prepare the structure of your property, there are a few specific steps to take:
- Have all gutters and downspouts inspected and cleared as needed
- Invest in frequent inspection and repairs of your plumbing and pipes, as flooding can happen as a result of leaks or pipe damage
- Landscape with native vegetation and plants to keep soil from eroding and enhance water drainage
- Consider adding movable barriers and floodgates to seal first-floor doors, windows, and drains
- Keep water-resistant materials like sandbags and plastic sheeting for lighter flooding events
- Invest in moisture detection systems that alert you as soon as flooding arises
- Store important materials, tools, or equipment on upper floors
Taking care of these tips in advance can help you protect your business in the event of light or serious flooding.
Prepare a Business Continuity Plan
For businesses dealing with the financial repercussions of floods, getting back up and running as soon as possible is vital. A business continuity plan helps ensure your staff is on the same page about what needs to be done to get operations running again after a crisis.
Depending on your business, this might include teleworking, offering customers access to online help or storefronts, shuffling around critical machinery, or new communication strategies for your team.
Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
Flooding can be a traumatic and stressful experience. In the moment, you might not know what steps to take for your specific business. Even worse, every minute that passes is critical, as it allows water to do more damage to your property.
As a safety precaution, do your due diligence and find a good plumber who is prepared to respond quickly to water damage events. In the event that you must deal with serious flooding, this gets someone in your corner right off the bat—and it keeps you from scrambling to find the first person you can get your hands on.
Keep on Top of Your Business Strategies
Preventing flood damage requires ongoing vigilance, especially during severe weather events, but a little foresight can go a long way to protect your business.
For more business tips to keep your company running strong, check out the rest of our posts!