What Businesses Can Do to Reinforce Their Property Against Winter Flooding

Risk management is necessary for your business clients, even with the best insurance coverage available. Businesses with flood insurance still need to plan for disasters, and those plans should include flood preparation.

The types of flooding that are likely to happen based on the business’s location will play an important role in making a proper disaster preparedness plan. Flash flooding and tropical storms can be forecasted on occasion, allowing the business owner time to move, secure or protect items and reinforce windows and doors. Rising waters are usually more common near bodies of water like lakes, rivers and oceans, but sewers can back up and flood, and pipes can also burst. Floods can occur anywhere, but location plays a part in how much damage and how fast the recovery could be.

Checking property before the rainy season is one way to make sure the damage is minimized. Having someone examine the plumbing to make sure it’s clear, and there are no tree roots or broken pipes. Sump pumps should be serviced and gutters cleaned and repaired if needed. Insulating pipes and putting hoses away before the winter season can keep pipes from freezing and bursting or causing other issues.

Using creative methods to protect properties can give clients a bit of peace of mind. Landscaping can play a pivotal role in keeping or diverting water away from buildings, and clearing trees away from a building can lessen the potential damage from winter storms. Routing downspouts further away from a building helps prevent water from pooling at the foundation and having a generator on hand to keep sump pumps and other equipment running when there are blackouts during storms can help minimize the damage when a flood does occur.

But above all, your business clients should have a proper “business continuity plan” in place. This will give them a strategy to get back on their feet as soon as possible after a flood. A great business continuity plan should include the following:

  • Risks or threats. What might have an impact on the business operations, like location (too close to a river, etc) the building itself (i.e. flat roofs can collapse under the weight of snow or water more easily than angled roofs), or the impact that the weather could have on the business.
  • Identification of critical business functions. What are the deliveries, key equipment, or other resources (trucks, storage, etc) that need to be supported in order for the business to function properly following a flood?
  • Take steps to prevent disaster or minimize risk as much as possible. For example, in an off-site storage area, keep copies of your data (either hard copies or data storage) or make sure that all of your equipment is stored safely and insured properly.
  • Distribute your plan to all employees. Everyone should be trained and tested regularly on their roles to execute your disaster plan.

Of course flood insurance is essential for helping a business recover after a flood. However, being prepared in other way can help limit the damage cause and get a business back on its feet much more quickly.

About Wilmington Insurance Agency

Wilmington Insurance Agency delivers comprehensive coastal property solutions. We are a Managing General Agency and provide independent insurance agents with property and liability insurance solutions for residents and businesses primarily in Maryland and Virginia. We work alongside our sister company, Wilmington Insurance Company, established in 1996 and providing Property & Casualty commercial lines business, homeowners, and condominium insurance in the state of Delaware. To learn more about how we can help you to expand your book of business in the coastal market, contact us at (302) 231-2800.