National PreparAthon Day is a great time to do flood preparation for your business. The first one was held in 2014 as part of President Barack Obama’s National Preparedness Initiative. It encourages people to prepare for a wide variety of disasters, because it may be a while before help can arrive. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States and unlike blizzards or hurricanes, they can happen anywhere.
Follow these tips to make a flood preparation plan for your business.
Talk to your staff. Make sure they know the building’s risk of flooding from external forces like rivers or hurricanes. Emphasize the importance of following official instructions regarding warnings and evacuations. This is a good time to double check everyone’s phone numbers and email addresses and set up a group messaging system. It will be worth the investment of time if a pipe breaks, floods the basement, and shorts out your computers.
Keep emergency supplies on hand. Encourage staff members to store enough nonperishable food and bottled water for three days in their desks or other storage area. Include battery operated radios, extra batteries, flashlights, and diaper wipes. They should have similar kits in their cars and at home.
Make a plan for your tech and documents. Your first priority should be your staff, of course, but your paperwork and equipment are your business’ lifeblood and they need to be protected too. If your building has more than one floor, keep technology off the ground floor. Make sure electronic devices are kept off the floor to avoid flood damage. Make a list of serial numbers from all electronics in case you need to file a claim with your insurance company. Scan paper documents and store the electronic files offsite or in the cloud. If you must store paper files onsite, keep them in a flood-proof box that’s not on a lower level.
There’s no reliable method of flood prevention and no way to prepare for flash floods or a broken pipe, but with an approaching hurricane or a rising river, there’s time to get ready. Make a plan in advance that will protect your property and limit disruptions as much as possible. Deciding what equipment should be moved, when employees should be notified about closings, and other scenarios in advance will make a future disaster go somewhat smoother. Make preliminary plans for flood cleanup too, such as what you would use as a temporary office if your building needed restoration.
Run drills. You may think you have everything figured out, but the only way to know for sure is to test the system. You don’t want floodwater lapping at your doorstep and nobody can remember the Dropbox password.
If you have a flood at your home or business in Northbrook, Wilmette, Glenview, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Winnetka, Buffalo Grove, IL or surrounding areas, call the highly trained experts at ServiceMaster DAK. Our certified water technicians extract all standing water, even from hidden areas. Extraction removes water 1200 times faster than dehumidification. We then use air movers and dehumidifiers to finish drying the affected area before dangerous mold can grow. Moisture and humidity levels are checked daily and only when levels are below “dry standard” will we remove our equipment.