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Finding Your FERP: How to Make a Flood Emergency Response Plan

Even if you don’t live near the coast, heavy rains or rain-swollen rivers can still cause flooding. As a business owner, a flood-damaged building can disrupt and threaten your livelihood under the best of conditions. In extreme cases, you can lose the business entirely.

To make sure your business survives a flood, it is important to establish a flood emergency response plan (FERP). To mitigate losses, a successful FERP should focus on what action to take before, during, and after a flood. The plan should also include an emergency contact who can handle flood and water damage restoration services.

What to Include in Your Emergency Flood Services Plan

When designing your FERP, it should contain the following elements:

  • A coordinator: The FERP coordinator is the person in charge of initiating and organizing the response plan. This includes the ability to direct employees and resources before, during, and after the flood.
  • A method to contact employees: Employees need to be alerted of impending flood conditions and flood mitigation procedures.
  • A list of key employees and their responsibilities under the FERP.
  • A water damage or emergency flood service company: You don’t want to wait until after the damage has occurred to start looking for a remediation company. Find and pick one beforehand and establish a relationship.

What to Do Before a Flood

The FERP coordinator should keep an eye on weather and storm reports and assess the probability of a flood occurring. If there is the probability of a flood, the coordinator should begin the preparation stage of your plan:

  • If anyone is going to stay behind, make sure they are stocked with food and water, along with a radio and first-aid kit
  • Any electronics should be moved to higher ground, if possible, and flammable or combustible liquids should be properly contained
  • Shut down your gas line and electricity if necessary
  • Plant sandbags at building openings to prevent water from entering the structure
  • Contact your emergency flood service or water damage service company and make sure that they will be able to assist you as soon as it is safe to do so

What to Do During a Flood

When the flood occurs, the FERP coordinator’s main priority is to ensure the safety of everyone who remains on-site. Stay indoors above the building’s grade level—ideally in a room that does not have an outside wall. Keep a radio on; if an evacuation order is issued, leave immediately. This cannot be stressed enough: do not stay under any circumstances.

What to Do After a Flood

Once the site is deemed safe, the salvage efforts can begin. Contact your water damage or emergency flood services company and inform them of any downed power lines, fallen trees, debris-filled sections of the road, or other obstacles that they may encounter when traveling to your location. Mechanical equipment should be dried and checked for damage, especially if the flood consisted of salt water. Electrical equipment should be thoroughly dried, cleaned, and inspected by an electrician before you turn it back on.

Flood Services Canada is a leader in flood restoration, emergency flood services, and water damage services. Our rapid response teams can quickly get to work to both prevent and mitigate flood damage and aid in the restoration process. For more in-depth tips on how to clean up after a flood, look at our emergency flood cleanup tips. For contact information for adding Flood Services Canada to your FERP, click here.

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Chad Vanvari

Chad Vanvari has over 20 years of experience as a cleaning & restoration professional. He started out in Montreal, establishing a commercial carpet cleaning company in the early 1990’s. By 2001, Chad had relocated to Toronto and now had extensive knowledge and experience in responding to fire/water related emergencies. He has been instrumental in the cleanup of several catastrophic floods. Currently, Chad is the president and owner of Flood Services Canada, a 24/7 emergency service restoration company.