Planning And Preparation Are Keys To Minimizing Flood Damage

You cannot stop a flood, but you can minimize the amount of damage it does and the extent to which it interrupts your business.  The keys are planning and preparation.  Here is a partial list of suggestions culled from a variety of sources, such as the Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Centers For Disease Control (CDC).

  • As you already know, keep a close watch on local weather reports and stay in touch with the local branch of the Red Cross. Start planning by learning all flood evacuation routes and travel them a few times so you are familiar with them.
  • If you have more than one level in your building, move things likely to be damaged or destroyed by water to an upper level. This includes papers, files, computers and electronics, drawings and blueprints, etc.
  • Locate electrical junctions boxes and HVAC units as high up as possible in your building.
  • Move anything stored in cardboard boxes to a higher level in your building or put those items into water-tight containers.
  • Check with your insurance carrier to see what precautions they might recommend or require as a condition of insurance.
  • Keep sandbags and rocks on hand if they will help keep floodwaters away from your property.
  • In the event power goes out, have a supply of flashlights and batteries, radios, food and water on hand.
  • If you have valuable perishables such as food or medical supplies, consider installing an emergency generator to power the refrigerator or freezer holding them.
  • For after-flood clean up, be sure you have plastic sheeting, wet/dry and HEPA vacuums, plywood, respirators, gloves and safety gear.
  • Have a plan. Assign each employee tasks related to preparation in the event of a flood watch or warning and an actual flood. Those employees not actively involved in these tasks should plan to go to higher, safer ground.
  • If you expect a flood is imminent, plug all plumbing fixtures to prevent watter from coming in from the outside and shut off gas and electricity at access points. DO NOT touch anything electrical if either the switches or equipment or the ground under you is wet.
  • Be careful when returning to a flooded building. There may be damage or risks you can’t see.

While you generally won’t be able to stop a flood, a little planning and preparation can go a long way to minimizing the damage it causes.

Rich Silverman
Goodway Blogging Team

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