Flooding is often associated with large natural disasters such as hurricanes Isabel or Katrina. However, for small businesses in Hampton Roads, just a few inches of water from heavy rains could cause businesses tens of thousands of dollars in damage. 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 needed to make a claim
- Evacuation routes from the office
- A business continuity plan containing 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
You must protect your building and contents, in addition to having a plan. Here are some steps you can take to reduce flood damage from occurring:
- Establish a nearby high ground for staff to use as parking during a flood warning.
- Install non-return valves on toilets and drains.
- Install watertight shields over window and door openings.
- Ensure the drainage of your property slopes away from the building.
- Seal all cracks and holes inside and outside your building with a urethane-based caulk.
- Install electrical outlets above flood level. All electrical system components, gates, and back-up power sources should be raised 12 inches above floor level.
- Create barriers between flooding and the inside of your building with sandbags.
Know What Is Covered
Flood insurance policies cover physical damage to property and possessions. It’s important to know what your policy does and does not cover to ensure your business is able to recover from flood damage quickly. For example, damage caused by a sewer backup is only covered by flood insurance if it’s a direct result of flooding. To 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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