Flood Preparation for Schools and Municipalities
How to Prepare Flood Plans
Floods can sometimes be predictable. For example, charting the habitual swelling of the tides establishes typical water levels and indicates when coastal areas might be prone to flooding. However, often, floods can arise without warning—rivers, lakes, swamps or the sea can overrun. Unpredictable rainfall can accumulate. It’s time to show Poseidon who’s really boss. So, how can you protect your school or municipality from flood damage? Stay afloat with a thorough flood plan and safety checklist.
Neglecting to prepare your school or municipality for possible flooding could sink your financials – and no one wants that. It’s impossible to completely flood-proof your school or municipality, but flood preparation can lower your risk of damage and reduce business interruptions.
Prepare by buying and installing products in advance that fortify your property against water. Consider the following precautions against flooding when building or remodeling:
- Purchase flood boards for your doors that you can install when flooding is imminent.
- Seal floors to prevent water seeping up through the ground.
- Fit non-return valves to drains and both inlet and outlet water pipes.
- Install high shelving where you can store items when flooding is inevitable.
- Raise electrical sockets, fuse boxes and wiring at least 12 inches above the 100-year flood level in your area.
- Keep a pump in the basement or lowest level to remove flood water.
In combination with your property’s physical flood prevention measures, adopt these organizational precautions for more comprehensive flood preparation:
- Compile a list of useful telephone numbers including your insurer.
- Learn how to shut off your gas, electricity and water.
- Develop a flood continuity plan with suppliers.
- Designate an emergency flood contact.
- Train your employees in correct flood safety procedures, and establish a safe meeting place in case you need to evacuate.
- Stockpile useful materials like plastic sheeting, plywood, sandbags, nails, hammers and shovels.
Lastly, you’ll need a flood plan which is a written document outlining how your school or municipality will respond to a flood. Store the flood plan in an easily accessible location—everyone should know where it is at all times. All flood plans should include:
- A list of important contact information and any additional flood warning systems, building services, suppliers and evacuation contacts
- A map showing locations of supplies, protective materials and shut-off points
- An outline of basic strategies for protecting property, ensuring health and safety, minimizing business disruption and facilitating recovery
- Procedural checklists for staff to use during a flood
- An annual review and update; flood risks and procedures can change, so make sure your business is prepared
Adopt these flood insurance basics, as well as check your commercial coverage to ensure you're covered for flood damage. Flooding poses a substantial—and sometimes ruinous—threat to organizations across the United States. Don’t let yours be the next!
To learn more about risk management policies and procedures for schools and municipalities, contact a member of the ‘A’ Team.
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