As the most common weather-related threat, floods present significant danger to commercial properties worldwide. Heavy rainfall can overpower the ground's ability to absorb moisture, so areas quickly fill with water. In turn, your property could sustain extensive damage to internal and external surfaces.
Flooding occurs in all United States territories, but it is especially common in low-lying areas and those close to bodies of water. Properties that rest near rivers, lakes or oceans often experience the worst effects of flooding. If flooding impacts businesses, it's often small businesses that take the longest to recover physically and financially.
While you can't avoid floods, protective systems can help shield your business from the worst damage. You can use both short-term and permanent solutions to protect your property and assets.
Read on to learn more about how to prevent flooding in low-lying areas.
Permanent solutions to flooding are long-term structures that shield properties from water and lasting damages. These projects often require significant resources and time for construction.
Here are a few examples of permanent flood solutions:
- Drainage systems: Drainage systems redirect water to join other waterways or pre-designed safety areas. They prevent the build-up of large amounts of standing water, which can lead to property damage and contamination. Drainage systems are available in a variety of styles, including surface drains, slope drains and gutter systems.
- Floodwalls: Floodwalls are another permanent structural solution. These concrete structures have a specific design that matches a city or town's physicality. They also have connectors that allow operators to move the gate when needed. For instance, operators often lift the walls to allow water to escape and keep the area dry.
- Levees: Levees provide natural protection from floods. They're typically used for properties near rivers, acting as a hill that prevents water from reaching the surrounding area. Because levees consist of earth-based materials, they are susceptible to erosion.
Your business can also use deployable solutions to prevent flooding from impacting your property. These resources provide short-term protection against flooding and are available in a variety of options.
While some options offer high-quality shielding, other deployable choices might cause more complications during a flood. For instance, sandbags have many disadvantages. They require extensive labor and high costs to assemble and provide limited protection during ongoing flood threats.
However, you can find other excellent options for deployable flood solutions, like flood protection systems. Deployable flood systems can provide personalized protection for your business. These systems consist of durable barriers. Designers tailor systems to meet specific heights, lengths and terrains. You can easily set up and remove the systems as demand requires.
Planning for the Future
As we progress into the future, floods will likely remain an ongoing issue. Both short-term and permanent structures can minimize flood damage, but businesses should develop more comprehensive plans to protect themselves and their assets. A flood protection plan analyzes your current position and uses it to adapt protective protocols in the future. That way, you can apply a personalized and business-based approach to flood management.
Here are a few steps for implementing a flood protection plan:
1. Assess Your Risk
You should start a long-term flood plan by analyzing your current risk. A flood risk assessment allows you to identify vulnerable or unshielded areas in your location or business. You can also explore historic floods and study the damages your business sustained. In response, you can plan to overcome these gaps or place additional protections in these areas.
These are some strategies for risk assessment:
- Use maps of the surrounding area: You can look at average precipitation levels and recent flood occurrences in your business's local area. These documents can help you understand typical water levels and what surrounding areas are most often impacted. In response, you can develop flood protection techniques based on the typical water. For instance, an area with severe flood levels would need more thorough response strategies than areas with low impacts.
- Take inventory: Next, take stock of your essential documentation, assets and any other objects with significant value. Inspect their location and ensure they have sufficient protection against a potential flood.
- Study building maps: You should also assess risk levels by inspecting your internal structure. Many indoor structures and appliances can become dangerous during floods. For instance, electrical sockets, wires and circuits can become electrical hazards when overwhelmed by water. In addition, check the placement and security of windows and drainage systems. Ensure they have the proper sealing and shielding to remain secure even when faced with immense water pressure.
If your business resides in an area with heavy flood risk, consider new construction or renovations to reduce potential damages.
2. Develop Emergency Protocols
Once you have assessed your flood risk, you can prepare emergency protocols for future flood occurrences. Having a plan in place can help you protect your employees, physical location and assets.
Flood disaster plans often include plans about:
- Understanding evacuation routes: A common flash flood solution is evacuation. You should learn and understand nearby evacuation routes in case an exit becomes necessary. Learn the proximity of nearby routes and make a road map from your business to the road.
- Maintaining supplies: It's also beneficial to keep a stock of non-perishable foods, cleaning supplies and water. These resources can help you if you lose power or need to move locations for an extended duration.
- Using backup power sources: Alternative energy sources are crucial for businesses. If you lose power due to a flood, you could lose revenue and have to adapt company plans. A backup source, like a generator, can ensure you stay online even during lengthy power outages.
- Flood risk mitigation plan execution: Your plan should also determine the equipment and workforce necessary to protect your infrastructure, employees and other visitors. Identify the specific system you plan to use and note how many people it needs for deployment. Then, ensure a core team has sufficient training to deploy the system. Regularly rehearse deployment processes and make sure you can complete them without issues.
3. Take Long-Term Action
Lastly, your organization should take long-term actions to reduce adverse flood outcomes. You could integrate practices like:
- Backing up important files: Water damage could ruin physical documentation, harming crucial financial or customer data. You should move important documents to waterproof containers. In addition, make multiple copies of important documentation or change them into digital formats.
- Providing regular training: Consider implementing training for flood practices. Familiarize your employees with emergency protocols and evacuation plans for floods. In response, employees can feel more prepared and protected.
- Investing in insurance: You can also invest in commercial flood insurance for more financial security.
While there isn't one answer for how to solve flooding, you can develop a plan that matches your needs. Staying proactive allows you to best address potential damage.
Contact Portadam Today
Engineering solutions to flooding can protect businesses from the worst impacts of floods. Portadam is a leading provider of deployable flood solutions. Our team has decades of experience in flood protection, and we work hard to find tailored protective systems for companies in all industries. We can help you with system design and deployment training,, along with obtaining a flood risk analysis report. In turn, you can shield your assets and remain on track with vital goals.