Almost 40% of small businesses fail to reopen after a flood hits their business, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Small business owners said that it’s expensive to recover since most don’t have flood insurance. As you know, standard commercial insurance doesn’t cover damage caused by flooding.
Why You Should Get Commercial Flood Insurance
Weather is unpredictable, and it’s critical to protect your livelihood. Purchasing commercial flood insurance saves you from flood cleanup, restoration, and reopening costs. It is more necessary if your business’s building is located in a region prone to hurricanes or near rivers that can overflow during heavy rains.
Also, remember that your business doesn’t need to be in a high-risk flood area to suffer flood damage. Though it’s more expensive, it’s always best to get a package covering the building and its contents. Click here to know more about the process of water damage and mold removal services.
Preparing Your Small Business from Flood Damage
1. Know Your Location’s Flood Risks
If you haven’t done this before opening your business, check FEMA’s maps that show an updated list of flooding risks based on topography. If you just moved your business to a new location, make sure to understand flood risks in the area.
If your building is located on a lower level or has a basement, it’s most likely that water pools and seeps through the walls when the ground surrounding your property gets saturated. Consider these following measures to lessen water damage:
- Seal water entry points
- Apply waterproof sealants to crack the floor, foundation, and framing joints.
- Extend downspouts
- Regrade the landscape around your business so that water flows away from the building.
- Install a drainage system and waterproof membrane around the perimeter’s foundation.
2. Outline an Emergency Plan
Most of the time, flooding occurs at short notice, so it’s critical to have an emergency plan at hand during this stressful event. Your plan should include:
- Contact numbers for energy providers, electricians, local government units, property restoration companies you trust, and other relevant helplines
- A list of immediate measures you can take if evacuation is necessary, like alerting staff and moving stocks
- Key locations for electricity or gas services cut-off points
3. Develop a Flood Continuity Plan
These actions can reduce the damage due to flooding vital to keeping your business running as usual.
- Back up your data and files regularly.
- Move essential business equipment, inventories, and files to a higher level.
- Move electrical sockets and wiring higher.
- Install non-return valves in your sewer pipes to avoid sewage backup during the flooding.
- Install a battery-powered sump pump to prevent minor floods or seeping groundwater.
- Anchor your fuel tanks as unsecured tanks may float away and release fuel in the floodwater.
- Install floorboards in your doorways and other openings to prevent water from entering through the gaps.
- Ensure that you have an emergency fund to pay your employees.
4. Educate Your Employees
Your employees should be familiar with the flood warning alarm, as well as the things to do when it goes off. Educate them on the dangers of flooding and how to evacuate the building safely.
After the Flood
If your small business is insured, it will not be difficult to reopen after the disaster. After filing your claims, the insurance company will send a professional to inspect the site and assess the extent of the damage.
For the cleanup, restoration, and repairs, you need to contact a water damage restoration company to make an estimate. The more information about the damage you can provide, the faster they settle your claims.