1. Identify Your Risks
The first step to being prepared is to identify and understand your risks. Are your practices located in flood zones? When new buildings are planned, potential sites should be reviewed for flood risk. If building in a flood zone is necessary, be sure to locate key electrical and mechanical equipment above grade level, with additional flood protection such as pitched drains and sump pumps. Click here for 9 Questions to Aid with Flood Planning.
2. Create a Plan
Once you have identified that a property is at risk for flooding, a Flood Emergency Response Plan (FERP) should be developed. The plan should designate a person in charge who has the authority to activate the plan and direct resources before, during, and after the emergency. It should also create guidelines for flood-proofing the property in the event of an impending storm (such as sandbagging entryways and safely shutting down or moving equipment) and contain instructions on post-flood recovery.
3. Prepare in Advance
Long before a flood strikes, the following actions should be taken to mitigate damage.
- Stockpile key materials and supplies, such as sandbags, plywood and nails, tarps, portable pumps, power tools and hand tools, mops, buckets, etc.
- Ensure that all on-site personnel have easy access to emergency supplies, such as drinking water, non-perishable food, radios, first aid kits, lighting, and necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Keep all fuel tanks full (vehicles, emergency generators, etc.).
- Ensure that all hazardous substances are safely contained and never stored on the floor.
- Identify the practice's power source so that it can quickly be shut off if the need arises.