Flood or Storm Safety Checklist for Businesses – During & After
Despite advanced weather alert systems, floods and storms can hit a small town with little to no warning. The devastating potential of floods cannot be overstated and is the number one cause of all weather-related fatalities. Floods are a common natural disaster in the United States, often following from snow, rain, storms, and overflows of dams.
As a small business in Northern Houston, it’s no longer a question of if but when the next one will strike. Are you at an increased risk from floods? Below is a simple flood/storm safety checklist to protect your employees.
Things You Will Need
- Batter powered radio (preferably an NOAA Weather Radio)
- Battery-powered flashlight (candles can be a fire hazard)
- 3-day supply of canned food and water for all your employees
- First aid kit for all your employees
- Extra batteries
- Cell phones with chargers
Flood and Storm Safety Checklist – During the Weather Event
Stay Indoors Until the Weather Event Passes
If flooding or storm occurs in Northern Houston, you should avoid all areas that may be affected. Experts recommend staying indoors, if at all possible. Do not under any circumstances walk or drive through floodwater because it could be filled with toxic debris or have electrical currents due to downed power lines.
The ground may be become soft due to the floodwater, and your view of sinkholes may be obstructed. The most effective safety step from floodwaters is to avoid them completely.
Here is a checklist you should use if you and your employees are indoors:
- Turn off all utilities – gas, electricity, and water.
- Boil tap water until you get the all-clear from local authorities.
- Avoid making any contact with the floodwater because it may be contaminated with toxic water and waste from dangerous animals.
- Listen to instructions using your NOAA radio for the latest updates and information from officials.
- Discard any food supplies that are contaminated with the floodwater. Use your supply of canned foods instead.
- If the floodwater reaches your office, you and your employees should move to the highest level of your office.
Caution: Stay out of attics with no windows or exits to the outside because they can trap you if the floodwater reaches there and can cut off your exit points and oxygen.
Below is a checklist you should use if you and your employees are outdoors:
- Steer clear of floodwater. Do not attempt to walk, swim, or drive through the water. According to the National Weather Service, fast-flooding water at a mere height of 6 inches can knock over adults. Just about 24 inches of floodwater can float a car.
- If your car is trapped and you can notice the floodwater rapidly rising, exit out of the vehicle now. It is not unheard of for floodwater to reach heights of 30 feet or more. Moreover, this could also trigger devastating mudslides. Once you are out of the car, find higher ground.
- Try not to come into contact with the floodwater because it may have mixed with sewage and dangerous insects.
- Don’t visit areas subject to flooding, including underpasses, dips, canyons, washes, and low spots. These areas can quickly become filled with water.
Caution: If someone falls in or is trapped in floodwater, do not go after them! Instead, call 911 for assistance and provide them with as much correct information as possible. Meanwhile, throw a floatation device to the victim that can help them float, such as a spare tire or a ball.
Flood or Storm Safety Checklist: After the Weather Event Passes
- Continue listening to your radio for further instructions
- Ask your employees to remain indoors until authorities indicate it is safe to leave.
- Do not visit affected areas. Your presence will affect rescue operations.
- If your building was flooded, do not return to it until you get the all-clear from authorities.
- Call flood damage restoration professionals in Northern Houston to check for structural damage and inspect the foundation for cracks.
- Make sure to turn off any gas lines outside.
While inside the building:
- Use only battery-powered flashlights. Do not use candles because they could trigger flammable material.
- Look for any potential fire hazards such as electrical circuits and gas lines.
- Inspect the area for gas leaks.
- Report any broken or downed utility lines to the appropriate authorities
- Keep an eye out for any animals that may have entered the building along with the floodwater.
- Take pictures of the building and its contents to document all the damage and present it to the insurance agency,
- If you have been injured or are feeling ill, get the necessary medical help.
Note: It is important to hire professional help once the flood or storm has subsided. Mold and bacteria can start developing in as little as 24 hours, so make sure to call emergency water damage specialists in Northern Houston as soon as you can.
Your local 911 Restoration of Northern Houston team consists of highly trained water damage specialists. We use advanced equipment to detect hidden moisture, remove standing water, and dry your home. Find out more by contacting us.