How to Prepare and Respond when Your Business Floods
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that flooding is now one of the most common disasters throughout the United States, with damages to homes, businesses, and infrastructure sometimes reaching billions of dollars in a single year. For business owners, severe flooding can destroy years of hard work in a matter of minutes.
Preparing for flooding
FEMA’s Ready.gov flood-response website advises purchasing flooding insurance and determining the flood risk factor to your business’ area. The risk factor includes rainfall and tidal-surge data along with topography and flood-control measures to arrive at its estimation.
Similar to those used to protect the home, flood emergency kits for businesses include emergency supplies and equipment, as well as backup copies of important business documents like lease and rental information, busines ledgers and software, contracts, bills of sale, and other financial documents. Additional copies of these important documents should also be stored offsite, either electronically or at a separate, water-proof location. Utilities should also be shut off prior to leaving the business property.
During the flooding
Once an evacuation order is given by local or state and federal governments, residents are legally required to comply. During the evacuation, do not walk through moving water, as this can cause harmful accidents, and do not attempt to drive through flooded areas.
After the flooding and evacuation
Unfortunately, it’s only after the flooding has taken its toll that the cleanup and restoration can begin. For many business owners, this involves taking stock of lost inventory, but also – and every bit as important – surveying the damage to the business’ physical facilities.
Business owners may wish to contact a restoration specialist who can assist them with mold remediation, document drying and storage, and facililty reconstruction. Such restoration specialists are experienced in returning businesses to working and operating condition in the minimum possible timeframe.