Most business owners should consider how they will respond to an emergency. From fires to power loss, to any other accidents or natural disasters, business owners should take the time, energy, and money to develop crisis response plans. This will minimize the stress associated with these events if they do occur, minimize damage to the property itself, and reduce financial costs.
Being proactive, rather than reactive, is essential for coastal businesses, in terms of flood responses. Flooding events can be deeply disruptive to personal lives, and it is also essential to focus on your safety as they arise. Because of this, it will be incredibly stressful to also have to develop a flood management program to protect your business on the spot. Especially for coastal businesses, which are at higher risk for flooding due to more severe rainfall and sea levels rising. Having a plan and measures in place beforehand is essential.
Create back-ups of essential documents
One of the most important things you can do to ensure that your business is able to function after a severe flood is to create back-up copies of important documents. You can do this by creating online copies, or by copying the documents and storing them in your home. If you are at risk of severe damage to the property, your business will need its key documents to be able to maintain its function before the property can be repaired.
Contracts, business records, and other documents that are essential to your business should be accounted for. As new important documents emerge, continue to make copies and update your collection of essential documents. In the case of a flood, you want to make sure the documents you have saved are updated to reduce stress in the event of such a disaster.
Develop a business continuity plan
Developing a business continuity plan is also an essential step in becoming prepared for a flood. This is used to fill in the gaps of revenue loss due to an unforeseen disaster that is not covered by insurance. This can be done with a few simple steps.
First, you need to conduct a business impact analysis. This means identifying the most important functions of your business and what resources are needed for them to occur.
Then, you should record and document the findings of the business impact analysis.
After this, you will need to assemble a team to formally develop a business continuity plan. You will discuss explicitly how you will manage a crisis.
Finally, you should make sure that the business continuity team has a solid understanding of your desired strategies and priorities during an emergency.
Invest in flood insurance
Businesses in coastal areas should get flood insurance as soon as possible. Because coastal areas are so high-risk for flooding, overlooking flood insurance could cost thousands of dollars for your company in the event of an emergency. Do your research on various insurance companies and evaluate which would be best for the particular needs of your business.
Take steps to manage flooding
In addition to making business plans in the event of flooding, you should also physically prepare your building for flooding. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. First, you should determine if you are interested in hiring a professional to install a high-quality flood protection system. This can include a variety of materials, such as sheet piles, that can be installed to keep water out of a particular area and minimize flooding and damage to your property.
If you are more inclined to look into solutions yourself, you can find a variety of products that are widely used to reduce flood damage. These include water inflated property barriers, which essentially are tubes filled with water that keep water out of an area. Another option is a product that looks like sandbags that can be laid out around a property to keep damage low. There are numerous devices to meet various flood management needs, but understand, professional services are going to be your more full-proof solution.
Because you cannot know what type of flood you might face, it might be a good idea to keep a variety of these options on hand in case of an emergency. This will help serve your larger goal of flood preparedness and allow you to avoid rushed, panic purchases once news of a potential flood arrives.
Develop a plan for employees
An emergency like a severe flood event will most likely have a major effect on your workers. They might worry about their job security, safety, or about changes to the functioning of the business. Because of this, you should consider how you will both assure and motivate employees during this time. This can take many different forms.
First, you should brainstorm some ideas for how you will develop unity in your company during this time. It’s important to be available to your employees as support and to recognize the additional stress this might be adding to their lives. You should also maintain strong communication with your employees to reduce stress and maximize their ability to work.
In a crisis situation, you will need to devote extra attention to your employees, so take time to think about some plans you might follow in the event of a flood.
Preparing for a flood can seem daunting. No one wants to anticipate disasters affecting their business and imagine such an unfortunate scenario. However, planning and making preparation arrangements is the best way to make sure that if these events were to occur, you would be equipped to manage them and able to maintain your business.