Flooding can be a devastating event for any business, causing damage to property and disrupting operations. This can negatively impact your company both in the short and long term. For example, you may have to pay out a large sum of money immediately after a flood-related disaster to repair the damage.
However, flood damage is notoriously difficult to extricate from a building, and dampness can linger forever. Moreover, you may lose precious files that contain sensitive, irreplaceable information or assets. This can put your business back years. Indeed, flooding is one of the most common and costly natural disasters in the United States. That’s why it’s vital for businesses to take steps to protect themselves from flooding.
Whether it is educating yourself on flood risks to better prepare for one, drawing up a flood plan, building flood barriers or finding ways to protect your possessions, you must develop a comprehensive strategy.
To help, here are some tips on how to protect your business from flooding:
Learn more about flooding and assess your flood risk
The first step in protecting your business from flooding is to understand what floods are, how they can happen, how to protect yourself from them and whether your company is located in an area susceptible to flooding.
A flood is when water submerges a land mass, usually dry land. There are multiple types of flooding – from river floods (when a river bursts its banks and swamps the nearby land) to coastal floods and flash floods.
You should then begin to research your local area. Many buy homes or commercial property in naturally susceptible areas to flooding without realizing it. When a flood subsequently happens, these people are completely unprepared. This inevitably leads to unnecessarily heavy damage, lost possessions and even injury or death. To prevent this from happening, start understanding your area’s flood risk. This will help you determine the likelihood of flooding and the steps necessary to prepare.
Develop a flood preparedness plan
Once you understand your flood risk, developing a plan to prepare for and respond to a flood is essential. This should include identifying an evacuation route, a safe location for employees to go to in the event of a flood and creating a list of emergency supplies such as sandbags, flashlights, and first aid kits. It’s also a good idea to create a communication plan for keeping in touch with employees and customers during a flood.
Without a clear plan you can stick to in the event of a flood, panic will ensue – which could lead to personal injury and damage to your commercial property. When you are following practical instructions, you can focus on taking action rather than contemplating your options. The result is a faster response time, an authoritative management team, less panicked employees and the likelihood of less flood damage.
Implement flood prevention measures
There are several measures you can take to prevent flooding at your business. These include installing flood barriers, such as sandbags or flood gates, to protect your building’s entrances and windows. You can also consider installing flood sensors or a warning system to alert you if water levels rise.
Research which prevention measures are most suitable to your specific property and budget and how practical they are to fit for everyday use.
Protect your equipment and inventory
If a flood suddenly breaks out, your equipment and inventory can quickly be damaged or destroyed. To protect them, consider moving them to a higher location or installing flood protection measures, such as waterproof covers or flood barriers. Keeping data on cloud storage accounts is also a wise move. You may also want to consider purchasing flood insurance to cover the cost of damages or losses.
Keep important documents safe
It’s important to keep important documents, such as insurance policies, deeds, and business contracts, safe in the event of a flood. Again, try to keep digital copies that can be stored in the cloud or on a blockchain – thereby protecting it from individual device damage. Consider storing them in a waterproof and secure location, such as a safe or a waterproof container.
By following these tips, you can take steps to protect your business from flooding and minimize the damage and disruption caused by this natural disaster. Remember that flooding can affect anyone at any time. Being ignorant about the effects of flooding or the methods you can use to protect yourself from it is dangerous. It’s always better to be prepared than to be caught off guard, so start planning immediately to protect your business from flooding.