Preparing Your Old Saybrook Business For Flooding - Checklist
As a business owner, you should prepare for any sort of disaster that can strike your business. Creating a plan can help mitigate your losses after a flood emergency and ensure the doors of your business can open again in a timely manner. Follow this checklist to put together your commercial flood preparedness plan.
How To Prepare Your Business For A Flood
- Determine if your business is at risk for flooding. You can do this by reviewing the flood maps of your area. Look to see if your business is located in a flood zone so you can prepare for the higher likelihood of flash flooding. You can check if your business is in a flood zone by inputting your address into FEMA's flood map, which is regularly updated.
- Understand your flood insurance coverage. Some commercial insurance plans will not cover flooding from natural disasters, so you want to be sure your building is covered if it is located in an area that has a flood risk. You don't want to know you don't have this type of coverage until your insurance claim is denied and you're left to handle the damage yourself. Review your insurance policy to see exactly what would be covered in the event of a natural disaster. Take note of your deductibles and insurance limits to understand what you will have to pay out of pocket.
- Have copies of all important documents. These should be stored electronically or somewhere off site of your business. If a large flood comes through, it can ruin all paper documents in your building and take weeks to recover or get new ones. This is also important for other disasters that could strike your business, such as a fire.
- Have a disaster plan. When you know that there is a natural disaster that could cause widespread flooding, you should enact the plan immediately. Your employees should be well trained in the disaster plan as well. A disaster plan should include:
- Knowing where the electrical, gas, and water shutoff valves are and how to turn them off
- Having a place to relocate or secure items that can be swept away by flood waters
- Know what items or materials could be damaged when in contact with water
- Having a place to move electronics or valuables
- Know evacuation routes from your business to safe areas
- Have emergency supplies and first aid in the building if you are trapped
- Locate a place where your business could temporarily work from if forced to relocate due to flood damage
- Choose a water damage restoration company ahead of time. You don't want to be scrambling to find a flood cleanup company while everyone else in the area is as well. Research local restoration companies that provide 24/7 emergency response and set up an emergency response plan with them. This way, the company will already be familiar with your business and be ready to help whenever needed.
- Research small business recovery disaster loans. When a natural disaster strikes, many time the Small Business Administration will provide loans to businesses to help them recover much more quickly by providing cash flow. Researching what these loans entail and require before a disaster strikes will leave you prepared if you must apply for one.