How to Protect Your Commercial Property from Flood Damage
As a business owner, there is only so much you can do to protect your building from water damage. But sometimes what you can do is the difference between rebuilding and a close call. If your commercial property is located in a flood zone, near a body of water, or in an area with large amounts of rainfall, it’s important that you take the precautionary steps to prevent flood damage from occurring in your building. Use these tips to get you started.
- Smart construction and design of your building.
The first step is to make sure that your commercial property is not located in a flood zone. If it is, take extra precautionary measures when constructing the building, like making sure the building is watertight. Consider elevating the building if it’s near water. Install hurricane-glass windows and doors, as well as storm shutters for extra protection.
- Roof and gutter cleaning.Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear of any and all debris. Pay special attention to removing clogs and larger debris like branches or birds’ nests. Clear your roof of any branches, grime, dirt, and debris as well. Be sure the roof is in good repair by sealing up any gaps, cracks, and holes.
- Get commercial flood insurance.Before you open your business, make sure you get flood insurance. Most insurance plans don’t automatically cover flood damage, business interruption, and lost revenue. When obtaining flood insurance, make sure you add this coverage into the plan. For more information, check out FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.
- Use a board up service and/or a commercial flood barrier. It never hurts to be prepared. If you know there is a natural disaster or severe weather headed your way, call in a professional to board up your windows and vulnerable areas of your building to protect from flood waters, flying debris, and high winds. Using a flood barrier will create a dam-like effect around your building, protecting it from rising water. These measures may cost a little more upfront, but will save you time, money, and the overwhelming struggle of having to deal with closing your business to rebuild a damaged structure later on.
- Create a business continuity plan. A business continuity plan addresses concerns should anything unexpected arise, like massive flooding or other emergencies. Not only does a continuity plan prepare your company in case a natural disaster should occur, but it also provides a succession plan should anything happen to the current leaders of the business, like sudden illness or death. The plan should also give instructions on how to proceed in the event of a lawsuit, labor dispute, or distribution issue. Analyze your business to understand the processes in place that require your company to run efficiently. Identify any flood risks, assess critical business processes and the partners that support them, and where to store backup equipment to keep your business running should anything happen. Consider creating a business continuity plan to help you specifically identify the current and potential pitfalls within your company’s processes to resolve them before they turn into crises, as well as successful disaster recovery planning.