Floods are a major cause of economic loss globally, and climate change potential losses are forecast to increase should action not be taken*. Flooding can happen over a period of days or a matter of minutes – even in areas that have not previously been considered at risk of flooding. That’s why, when you’re thinking about your business continuity plans, it’s wise to include a Flood Emergency Response Plan that can provide timely access to the resources you need, protect your employees, save time, reduce property damage and get your business up and running again if a flood occurs. These five steps can help you get started.
Anticipate the potential sources and impact of a flood.
Consider your local climate and potential weather events, including what time of year floods might occur. Find out whether there are upstream controls such as embankments, levees or dams in the area; the likely extent of any flooding (rate of rise, depth, how long water levels will remain elevated); and how closed roads or bridges might affect your business. Understand the drainage systems within your facility.
Implement preventive measures ahead of time.
To prepare your business for flooding, consider storing critical records, materials and key equipment in higher locations. Look into installing protective barriers and consider resilient systems such as non-electric water pumps, diesel generators and backup power supplies for critical utilities and systems. Install check valves on drainage systems and seal entry points for other utilities. Where practical, ensure that flood resistant construction features are implemented to exposed elevations.
Establish an emergency response team.
The team should have clearly defined responsibilities and levels of authority. The team should:
Establish emergency response procedures.
Work with your response team to create an emergency plan to:
Test and update your plan.
Work through your emergency procedures in advance. Following an incident (or near-miss) update your Flood Emergency Response Plan with lessons learned.
Flood insurance may provide financial protection for some losses. For further assistance please contact Chubb.