It’s National Flood Safety Awareness Week

Take advantage of National Flood Safety Awareness Week to start preparing your business for a flood. Included below are some preventative actions (written by Iowa State University’s Center for Food Security and Public Health*) to help protect your business and ensure that you have the proper resources in place to quickly recover post-event.

Before a flood

  • Have a business emergency/continuity plan
    • Determine the processes and equipment needed to keep your business open — from answering the phones to tracking finances, to distributing your product or service
  • Maintain an inventory of all equipment used by your business
    • Keep copies of all paper and computer files in an accessible but off-site location
  • Flood insurance
    • Most standard insurance policies do not cover flood damage and the resulting loss of income
    • The National Flood Insurance Program is available in most areas
    • Consider obtaining business interruption insurance
  • Plan for continuity
    • Store extra supplies offsite
    • Make a plan for a temporary location if your company is forced to relocate
    • Have a plan for alternate communication with employees, customers, suppliers during recovery
    • Develop a plan to maintain payroll
    • Obtain an alternate power source
  • Prepare your property
    • Have electrical equipment (furnace, water heater) and components (e.g., switches, sockets, circuit breakers) raised at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation
    • Move electronic equipment (computers), furniture, valuables and important documents to a safe place
    • Buy and install sump pumps with backup power (e.g., battery-operated)
    • Anchor any fuel tanks or any other unsecured items outside your business
  • Prepare your employees
    • Inform employees of the business emergency plan; review it with them regularly
    • Ensure employees know the exit locations for the building
  • Develop a post-disaster communication strategy
    • Create a phone tree and designate individuals who will initiate the communication process with employees, customers and vendors
  • Make plans regarding customers
    • Determine the likelihood of customers being present if a flooding situation occurs
    • Have an emergency plan for customers; review it with employees regularly
    • Label exit locations for the building
  • Make plans for suppliers
    • Maintain a contact list of your suppliers
    • Make a plan for supplies in the event of a flood.

*Source: Iowa State University Center for Food Security and Public Health. “Floods and Your Business.” Web. 18 Mar. 2013

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