Floods are more common and cause more destruction than any other natural disaster in the world. They can happen over a period of days or a matter of minutes – even in areas that are not considered a flood risk. 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 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 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 to survive a flood, consider storing critical records and key equipment in higher locations. Look into installing protective walls, waterproof closures, and backup systems such as non-electric water pumps, diesel generators, and battery-powered lighting in your facilities. Install check valves where utility and sewer lines enter the building, and move vulnerable equipment, raw materials, and finished products away from doors and windows.
Establish an emergency response team.
The team should have clearly defined responsibilities and levels of authority. They can then:
Establish emergency response procedures.
Work with your response team to create an emergency plan to:
Test and update your plan.
Run through your emergency procedures before a flood happens to ensure a speedy, safe, and proper response. If you do experience a flood, update your Flood Emergency Response Plan with lessons you’ve learned.
You can also protect your business with flood insurance. Your insurer may be able to help you plan for a potential flood.