A major disaster, such as a flood, not only cause damage to the business property and contents affected, but it can be devastating to businesses. In fact, nearly 40% of businesses affected by a natural disaster will never open their doors again because of the damage, reports FloodSmart.gov. You can protect your business with flood insurance, but there are also other ways to protect your business from floods.
In honor of National Flood Safety Awareness Month this March — and Flood Safety Awareness Week March 12-16, 2013, take note of the following valuable information about protecting your business from a flood.
Importance of Flood Safety
Between 2007 and 2011, businesses affected by floods paid an average of $75,000 for repairs. This is only average, with some businesses paying near $1 million to repair the damages. Floods are also the most common natural disaster to occur, as even businesses not near bodies of water can be affected by the damage. Close to half of businesses who get flooded with at least a few inches of water will close their doors permanently due to the damage. Without proper insurance, a single flood can destroy your business.
How to Mitigate Small Business Flood Risk
All businesses should be concerned about potential floods and for National Flood Safety Awareness Month, follow these tips:
- Have watertight shields installed over window and door openings in your building. They will be installed above the expected flood level to eliminate some of the flood damage.
- Find out what the drainage of your business property is and be sure there is a slope away from your building.
- Examine your business inside and outside the building for cracks and holes; seal them with a urethane-based caulk.
- Have waste water lift stations wired to your back-up generator in case you lose power as a result of a flood.
- Have drain plug devices installed in your interior drains on the bottom level of your building; these will help prevent flow back into the building.
- Anchor any fuel tanks you have to prevent the tank from coming loose and contaminating your building with leaking fuel.
- All electrical system components, gates, back-up power sources like generators, walls and shields should be raised 12 inches above floor level for additional flood protection.
- Have sandbags handy to create barriers between outdoor flooding and the inside of your building.
When you follow these guidelines, you can help protect your business and important contents from damage and help maintain your business. If you take the time to prepare your building, you can avoid thousands of dollars in repairs and having to close the business you worked so hard for. You should also speak with your insurance agent to get updated information about what your flood coverage is as well as other important business insurance solutions.