Heavy rains, tropical storms, and hurricanes cause millions in flood damages across America each year. For businesses, this can lead to catastrophic loss - employees without work, equipment damaged, and inventory gone. The financial liability from commercial flood damage alone can be crippling and force a business to close down. Year after year, communities feel the long-term implications of increased flood events and hurricane activity.
While we can’t stop floods from happening, there are ways to prepare and mitigate the loss. Owners ask, how can I protect my business from flooding during a hurricane? Here are some actionable steps you can do to prepare your property and minimize loss due to flooding from heavy rains, storms, and hurricanes.
The first step in saving your investment from costly damages is to have a good pre-emergency plan in place. Property owners are often required to have commercial flood insurance and/or flood protection systems in place. Unknown to most, prevention systems are often created from inaccurate and outdated flood mapping data.
Flood risk experts suggest receiving a flood risk analysis and flood map every five years for effective protection. Business flood insurance premiums may also be affected by inaccurate flood maps. With insurance-recognized flood maps such as those found at Flood Risk America, you can see a reduction in yearly insurance premiums.
Having an updated and accurate flood map in place will help you make an informed decision on the type of coverage you need, which not only helps you save on costs but can ease the financial liability should a flooding event happen.
Use corrosion-resistant flood panels
Out-of-the-box flood panels are not recommended for effective flood control. These bulk products have not been curated to your property's unique contours, leaving open spaces for water to enter.
Using a corrosion-resistant material for your flood barrier is most effective for long-term usage. The ocean's saltwater rust traditional flood barrier materials and needs to be replaced after a few uses. Gel-coated WTR layer composite is recommended for any saltwater flood environment. This lightweight material is less than five pounds per square foot, allowing for a quick and easy installation. Easy-turn carbon-steel knobs are also a great feature on any flood panel.
Custom-fabricated flood panels will create a floodproof dry seal, stopping water from entering even when pooled. Flood panels can also be fitted around any exterior equipment, such as electrical boxes to save from costly damages.
Use appropriate flood barriers and flood protection products
While flood panels are a great and effective way to floodproof your property, they’re not always the solution to your specific site. For example, city drainage issues often lead to water seeping upwards into your building when there are heavy rains. Traditional exterior flood panels will not stop water from coming up from your drain. Drain covers are the solution to stop flooding. Similar to the flood panels, drain covers snap in place to seal the area and stop water from creeping into your building or property.
Other flood protection products include protection boxes, equipment protection, compression panels, and more.
Opt for water-filled flood barriers over sandbags
If you need to protect a large landscape, sandbags are the traditional choice to create a wall and direct the flow of water away from the sizable area. However, sandbags are labor-intensive to install and difficult to clean up.
Effective flood prevention should be simple to deploy and sandbags are not an easy solution. Instead, use water to fight water with water-filled flood barriers that can be deconstructed and reused. These flood barriers are made of resilient PVC and are much easier to deploy, fill with water, and clean up. They can be customized to fit your landscape and are effective at stopping water from pooling.
Don’t forget the elevators
Some of the top tips for protecting a commercial property from flooding is to protect main entryways and windows. But one of the growing urgencies today is increased elevator flooding due to the climate change crisis. When floodwaters enter, one of the most vulnerable areas for flooding is elevators.
At Flood Risk America, our elevator flood panels are customized and engineered with a patented flood seal technology to protect both the elevators and control rooms from rising floodwaters.
In summary, the best way to prepare your commercial property from flooding is to have the right pre-emergency preparations in place and deploy appropriate flood protection products throughout your building.