The actions you should take when a flood is imminent are very different to the long-term protections you should make to help your business survive a flood.
Here we explore steps to take when you have time to prepare and what you should do if you have no time at all.
What to do if you have plenty of time
If you have plenty of time, a first port of call should be guide books published by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). The Flood Action Guide is a great general guide to how to prepare for a flood. The BoM also has other resources such as a flood warning service. It’s an idea to understand the help you can get before you need to respond to a natural disaster.
If you have lots of time, it’s important to check your emergency kit has everything you need. This should include a torch, battery-operated portable radio, spare batteries for the radio and the torch and gloves, recommends Steadfast Group’s executive general manager - corporate development, Martyn Thompson.
“Make sure the kit includes things like key documents; anything you need if you have to leave in a hurry. It’s also important to have local radio tuned in so you can hear any evacuation orders. Also plan for the unique requirements of staff. It may take more time to evacuate any elderly members, for instance. They need to be evacuated earlier than other staff members.”
“You can contact your local council to find out when the map for your area was last updated”
What to do if a flood is imminent
When a flood is imminent, make sure you place as much furniture as possible on desks to reduce the risk of it floating around and doing even more damage. Secure heavy items like fridges and dryers to the floor. Remove light bulbs, turn off the power and pull-out fuses.
“This means once the power comes back on, there's a reduced risk of short circuits. Also turn off your gas,” Thompson advises.
It’s also important to anchor fuel tanks and close off their valves. Placing a plastic bag full of sand or earth in the toilet bowl will also prevent backflow. Doing that means it’s less likely sewage will overflow.
“As much as possible, lift furniture to higher ground and use the space in the roof as storage, if it’s safe to do so. If you have wooden cupboards and drawers, remove the drawers from the cupboards and take them to higher ground.”
Explore whether a new type of flood prevention barrier that's activated by water may help you survive a flood. Place the sausage-shaped objects near your door. Once the water hits them, the gel inside them acts like a sandbag.
“Flood experts can assess your property and give you tips on what you can do to make your office less flood-prone,” he adds.
There’s always steps you can take to reduce the risk of natural disasters damaging your office. Talk to your Steadfast broker about everything you can do to ensure next time a flood hits, you’re as protected as possible.
This information is provided to assist you in understanding some of the common considerations in flood insurance. It is not complete, so please request full details from your Steadfast insurance broker. Deductibles, exclusions and limits apply. Insurance policies issued by various insurers often differ.
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