Image of local Burger King under flood water

Flooding can be a disaster for any business. In addition to damage to premises or equipment, you can lose stock and supplies and find that you may not be able to operate while the damage is repaired. You may lose contracts and your customers may go elsewhere. Even if the flood does not impact you directly, you may find suppliers are unable to meet your needs or flooded employees cannot get to work.

Safeguard Against Flooding Tips

Planning ahead can dramatically reduce the impact of flooding on your business. Below are a few tips you can take to safeguard against flooding.

  • Review Emergency Plan with staff.
  • Take all necessary precautions to prevent the release of dangerous chemicals that might be stored on your property. Locate gas main and electrical shut-offs and anchor all fuel tanks.
  • Postpone any receipt of goods, deliveries, couriers, etc.
  • Contact your insurance agent and discuss your policy.
  • Establish emergency communication methods (Alert Notification System, phone tree, etc.); identify a meeting place and time for all employees.
  • Have all employees, vendors, client contact information on hand.
  • Update disaster recovery kits.
  • Maintain accurate inventory of products on your site.
  • Use plugs to prevent floodwater from backing up into sewer drains, or install flood vents/or flood proof barriers.
  • Stay tuned to local media.

Preparedness Programs

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers a variety of preparedness programs for your business.

FEMA's Ready Campaign assists businesses in developing a preparedness program by providing tools to create a plan that addresses the impact of many hazards. This website follows the program elements in National Fire Protection Association 1600, Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs.

The Small Business Administration has developed a comprehensive program for disaster planning and preparedness for small businesses. Prepare My Business provides education, planning, testing, and disaster assistance tools to help ensure your business remains open and recovers faster following a disaster.

The American Red Cross Ready Rating Program is a free, self-guided program designed to help businesses, organizations, and schools become better prepared for emergencies. Members complete a self-assessment of their level of preparedness which is aligned with the Department of Homeland Security's Private Sector Preparedness Standards. Members work at their own pace to increase their preparedness score.

For more resources and documents on how to better your prepare your business try FEMA’s Small Business Toolkit.

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