Flooding is often associated with large natural disasters such as hurricanes Isabel or Katrina. However, because most of the area in Hampton Roads is flat, just a few inches of water from heavy rains associated with a tropical depression could cause businesses tens of thousands of dollars in damage. For a small business this can be devastating. According to FEMA, almost 40 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster.
Implement a Business Flood Plan
Just as you created your Business Plan to ensure the direction and success of your business, you should also implement a Business Flood Plan to protect what you have created. Your flood plan should be a formal, concise and user friendly document that details how the business will respond and take action in a pre-flood/flood threat, actual flood and post flood situation. The plan should include:
• Flood insurance information that would be needed to make a claim
• Evacuation routes from the office
• Business continuity plan that contains important phone numbers and strategies for continuing business if the workplace is unavailable
• Strategies for protecting the site, equipment, and all other contents, including vehicles
• A list of all useful and applicable business contacts including emergency and repair services
Reduce Your Businesses’ Risk From Flood Damage
In addition to having a plan, you need to protect your business building and contents. Here are some steps you can take to reduce flood damage from occurring:
• Establish a nearby high ground for staff to use to park during a flood warning
• Install non-return valves on toilets and drains
• Install watertight shields over window and door openings in your building
• Ensure the drainage of your business property slopes away from your building
• Seal cracks and holes on inside and outside of your building with a urethane-based caulk
• If possible, install electrical outlets above flood level. All electrical system components, gates, back-up power sources should be raised 12 inches above floor level
• Have sandbags handy to create barriers between outdoor flooding and the inside of your building.
Know What Is Covered
Flood insurance policies cover physical damage to property and possessions. To ensure your business is able to recover from flood damage quickly, it’s important to know what your policy does and does not cover. For example, damage caused by a sewer backup is only covered by flood insurance if it’s a direct result of flooding, and not caused by some other problem. To help you better understand your policy and coverage, talk to an agent to ensure your business and its contents are properly covered. Keep in mind that there is typically a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase or change before your policy goes into effect.
At Virginia Beach insurance company WBR Insurance we offer a full portfolio of policies, including flood insurance. We pride ourselves in establishing personal relationships with our customers to assist you in protecting what matters most. To get a free quote for your Virginia Beach flood insurance needs, give us a call at 757-340-0028 or visit our website www.WBRInsurance.com.
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