You should know what to do when a flood causes your business to shut down. According to research, flood disasters can surpass $8 billion in damages in the U.S. annually. This figure proves just how devastating floods can be within a community, and they’re often uniquely catastrophic to small businesses affected. Indeed, a small business may not have the protection and resources to immediately address the damage and bounce back from such a disaster — but there are several steps that you can take after a flood to minimize its impact.
A Flood Causes Your Business to Shut Down: Steps to Take
Consider these steps to recover in the immediate aftermath of a flood.
Shut Off Essential Utilities
Unfortunately, much of the harm caused by flooding may not directly result from water damage. Instead, broken gas lines and electrical fires can cause this. It can occur if flooding causes an evacuation and gas and there is electricity on.
Water should not cross paths with wires as it will cause electrical failure, which may escalate into a fire. Similarly, if water from flooding compromises a gas line, it could cause a burst, triggering a fire. For these reasons, you should turn off the utilities at your business any time a flood is anticipated — or as soon as possible afterward.
Minimize Any Further Damage
You’ll also want to salvage what to salvage from the flood site. Floods can wreak havoc on a business, destroying computers, merchandise, and paperwork. In many cases, recovering everything won’t be possible, but you can start by removing the items from the site, cleaning them, and placing them in plastic bags to sanitize later. As you’re doing this, ensure you wear protective equipment to prevent direct contact with floodwater.
Carefully Start Cleaning Up
With all salvageable items removed from your business, you can proceed to start cleaning up. Throw away items that clearly cannot you cannot salvage, and as you’re doing so, be sure to document and describe them for insurance purposes. Your business insurance may cover flood damage, but if not, a property & casualty policy should. A property & casualty insurance policy can cover the expenses associated with disasters and damage.
Document the Damage Thoroughly
Alert your insurer to the damage caused by the flood and ensure that you have thoroughly documented it. To do this, you can start by photographing the premises of your business, including any areas that may still have standing water. Take photographs of damaged or destroyed property and keep an inventory of these items and their descriptions. You should document changes or make a claim with your P&C insurance coverage.
About The Hilb Group
Deciding what coverage you need and what limits and deductibles make the most sense can be tricky. Founded in 2009, the Hilb Group has been helping clients to make sense of their options and make the smartest choices for their circumstances. Whether you need Warehouse Insurance or any other type of business or personal coverage, we encourage you to contact our friendly, experienced, and capable team today. Call us at (800) 776-3078 for a consultation.