How To Prepare Your Business for a Flood
While you can’t always predict natural disasters and floods, you can ensure your business doesn’t completely close. To keep your business strong, you must plan for every eventuality – and a flood is no exception. Planning gives you peace of mind while things are good and less stressful, rather than poor planning in the future when things might feel chaotic.
So to keep your business’s doors open, follow these ten steps and limit the impact of a flood on your business today!
Flood Preparation for Businesses
1. Check Your Business’s Location on a Flood Map
You can’t plan for the eventuality of a flood risk if you don’t know the full extent of the threat itself. That’s why step one should always be to check your area’s flood risk on a flood map. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) distributes the proper flood maps; knowing how much your business is at stake will help you construct an appropriate plan and take action accordingly.
The FEMA periodically revises the maps to incorporate the local area’s changing topography (land space and terrain). Please check for updates on the FEMA website to keep your flood preparation current.
2. Conduct a Risk Analysis
Now that you know how high or low the flood risk is to your business, you need to evaluate your building’s risk and support it with action. For example, when considering your building, you might note that your electrical equipment is close to the ground, which in the event of a flood would be extremely dangerous should a live wire get into the water. Even after a flood, standing water is risky, increasing the chance of electrocution.
Now that you’ve noted the risk at hand, back it up with the action of hiring a certified electrician to raise the electrical components of the building, such as switches, sockets, wiring, and circuit breakers, to limit the risk of standing (or moving) water from interacting with live electrical currents. This step reduces the overall risk of electrocution.
3. Create a Disaster Plan
Consider focusing on two main areas when creating a disaster plan. First and foremost, you should consider the safety of the people working for you, as their safety is more important than damage to your property.
What are the evacuation routes? Do you have an evacuation meeting point where everyone can gather safely once out of the building? Do you have any employees who may need specific alterations to the general plan?
For example, do you have wheelchair users who can’t take the stairs or elderly employees who might struggle? Consider every individual when constructing this plan.
After thinking about employees, think about your building. Do you have a backup generator to help if the power dies? What about if the air-conditioning unit fails? Do you have portable units or fans in place?
4. Run Drills
Everyone must know what to do in an emergency, especially if your business is in a high-risk area. So be sure to run drills for your employees regularly; that way, not only does everyone knows what to do should a disaster hit, but they’ve physically moved through the motions before, aiding those who are more visual learners or newer to the team.
5. Check Your Insurance Policy
With 40% of small businesses never recovering from the aftermath of hurricanes, ensuring you have a good insurance policy is an absolute must. You must check if you’re protected from flooding and what help is at hand from your insurance providers should the worst happen.
6. Back-up To The Cloud
You don’t know when you might need to evacuate your building rapidly, so don’t leave any necessary documents to the mercy of flood water. Instead, back up any essential documents and information so you have it on hand. These crucial documents include your insurance policy and employee contact details.
7. Create a Continuity Plan
It’s entirely possible that the damage from a flood, and the disruption that natural disasters can cause to your employees’ lives, will make your business unable to function at its standard capacity. So imagine your business needs to close for a few days; think about saving some money now if your business relies on in-person sales, such as if you’re a yoga studio or coffee house.
Do you know if business can be conducted remotely? Since the Covid-19 pandemic, hybrid working remains a popular option with or without a natural disaster, so consider how you can incorporate what your business has already learned about its adaptability.
8. Get Familiar With the U.S. Small Business Association
Only some businesses are large chains that their investors and adjoining branches can support. So if you have a small business, knowing how the U.S. Small Business Administration can help you is crucial when disaster strikes.
You may need to apply for a recovery disaster loan to help you with the costs of getting your business back to normal. Much like your insurance policy, knowing how the SBA can help before a disaster will save you precious time and energy once a natural disaster occurs.
9. Make an Emergency Kit
Please make sure that you have all the essentials if you need them. These items could include (but aren’t limited to):
- Spare batteries
- Blankets, dry clothes, and food
- First Aid kit
- Mobile phone
- Extra cash
10. Know A Good Restoration Company
Even after all your planning, following a flood, your business will need help, so ensure that you know a good water damage restoration company in your area so that when the time comes, you know that they’re only a phone call away.
Following these ten steps will ensure that if flooding affects your business, its doors won’t be closed forever. But before they can reopen, ensure you enlist the help of All Dry. All Dry USA is committed to helping those in need, so give us a call today.
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