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Be Prepared

Planning & Preparation Phase

Steps to take in planning for a flood emergency
  • Know the elevation of your building and have a general understanding of the surrounding topography.
  • Get to know your neighbors and the other tenants in your building and the buildings around you. Know how to contact them - at home in case of emergency.
  • Discuss prior floods with your neighbors and the problems encountered in your area. For example, you could be protecting your business but the business next door does nothing and water comes through the wall from next door.
  • Coordinate an evacuation plan for the building. Identify elevated locations that can be reached quickly in case of a flash flood or dam failure.
  • Keep an up-to-date inventory. Make duplicate copies of your important documents and backup your computer files regularly. Store one copy out of the immediate area - with a friend or relative who lives at least 100 miles away.
  • Find out where the storm and roof drains are and make sure they are annually cleaned out and have good flow.
  • Locate your utilities' shut-off points - electrical power, natural gas, water, and sewer. Learn how to properly turn them off.
  • Hold a meeting with your employees at least annually to discuss the plan, and provide a mock evacuation training to practice how the plan will be implemented.
  • Create an employee contact list with current addresses and phone numbers (consider including local relatives or friends frequently visited. Identify alternative means of communication in case the telephone is not working (for example: pagers, a notice in the window, a door-to-door contact plan, etc.).
  • Prepare a water resistant box or storage container of the following:
    • Flashlight with extra batteries
    • Battery operated radio with extra batteries
    • Gloves
    • Plastic sheeting and tape
    • Empty sand bags - burlap bags degrade quickly after they have been filled. Store empty bags separately from the sand used to fill them. If you have room on your property, keep a sand pile to fill the bags. Keep a shovel handy.
    • Rubber boots, rain jackets, and pants.
    • Drinking water - suggested minimum three day supply of water in the amount of 1 gallon per person per day
    • Non perishable food items
    • Brooms, shovels, mops, and squeegees
    • First Aid kit
    • Bleach and sponges
    • Tool kit, hammer, nails, pliers, crescent wrench, utility knife, and screwdriver
    • Camera with film
    • Shoes and socks
    • Warm clothing and blanket
    • A copy of your business' flood plan, a copy of this guide, and a County Map
  • Determine Landlord and Tenant flood responsibilities
  • Keep your family's needs in mind and be sure they are prepared too!
  • Implement this preparation checklist before an emergency occurs.
  • Know what to do and how to do it so that you are fully prepared and able to take responsibility for safe-guarding your property.
  • Update your employee contact list and keep a copy with you in your wallet. Establish a check-in location.
  • Hold a meeting with your employees to discuss the plan and make sure they understand their roles and responsibilities in implementing the plan.
  • If you use computers, make a current backup of you important programs and current data. Store it off-site.
  • Review your automobile and equipment parking plan. Be sure they will be secured or moved to higher ground.
  • Review you flood insurance program.
  • Use a camera to document your inventory and the condition of your equipment immediately preceding the flood preparation and prevention measures taken.
  • Know where to get sandbags (usually at a Fire Station), how to use them, and how you are going to get them to your building (before or after they are filled?). Know where you are going to use sandbags, plastic sheeting and flood boards.
  • Listen to and watch local media broadcasts for river levels and weather forecasts.