Floods can be predictable. For example, the Spring thaw is one of the times most prone to flooding. However, more often than not, floods can arise without warning - rivers can overrun, swamp defences, and surge through the surrounding area.
The fickle nature of Ottawa weather only exacerbates the unpredictability of floods, and with so many neighbourhoods susceptible to flooding, one unexpected severe storm can trigger widespread, damaging floods. Neglecting to prepare your property for possible flooding can sink your business. Stay afloat with solid preparation and a thorough flood plan.
Preparing for Floods
It is impossible to completely flood-proof your property, but flood preparation can lower your business' risk of damage and reduce business interruptions.
Once you have assessed your risk, it is time to prepare your business. Buy and install products in advance that fortify your property against water. Consider the following precautions against flooding when building or remodeling:
- Purchase flood boards for your doors that you can install when flooding is imminent.
- Seal floors to prevent water seeping up through the ground.
- Fit non-return valves to drains and both inlet and outlet water pipes.
- Install high shelving where you can store items when flooding is inevitable.
- Raise electrical sockets, fuse boxes, and wiring at least 1.5 metres above the floor.
- Keep a pump in the basement of the lowest level to remove flood water.
In combination with your business' physical flood prevention measures, adopt these organizational precautions for a more comprehensive flood preparation:
- Compile a list of useful telephone numbers, including your local authority and your insurer. Always consult your insurance broker before submitting a claim.
- Learn how to shut off your gas, electricity, and water.
- Develop a flood continuity plan with suppliers and clients.
- Designate an emergency flood contact.
- Train your employees in correct flood safety procedures, and establish a safe meeting place in case you need to evacuate.
- Stockpile useful materials like plastic sheeting, plywood, sandbags, nails, hammers, and shovels.
Creating a Flood Plan
A flood plan is a written document outlining how your business will respond to a flood. Store your business' flood plan in an easily accessible location - everyone should know where it is at all times. All flood plans should include the following:
- A list of important contact information and any additional flood warning systems, building services, suppliers, and evacuation contacts.
- A map showing locations of supplies, protective materials, and shut-off points.
- An outline of basic strategies for protecting property, ensuring health and safety, minimizing business disruption, and facilitating recovery.
- Procedural checklists for staff to use during a flood.
Review and update your plan annually. Flood risks and procedures can change, so make sure your business is prepared.
Flood insurance is the ultimate preparation for your business. Check with us to ensure what flood damage is covered under your insurance policy. Flooding poses a substantial - and sometime ruinous - threat to Canadian businesses. Scrivens' insurance professionals are poised to help fortify your property.
Rely on us to provide more flood preparation materials and help keep your business from going under.