A flood can damage your stock, plant, equipment, furniture and fittings. It usually takes a week or more to clean up after a flood adding to your costs and stress. Business flood insurance is difficult to obtain and expensive. Research shows that more than 40% of businesses don’t reopen after a disaster and nearly 30% more close within three years (US National Fire Protection Agency).
Australian research also shows that businesses that prepare for floods reduce their losses by about 80% (Risk Frontiers, Macquarie University). It doesn't take long to prepare a plan. Being FloodSafe is your best insurance. Incorporate FloodSafe ideas into your existing work procedures of business continuity plans.
As an employer you also have a legal obligation to keep your staff safe from known health and safety risks. Flooding is a known risk and can pose significant health and safety hazards including:
- slips, trips and falls in wet or muddy conditions
- manual handling risks when moving stock, plant and equipment
- disease from contact with contaminated flood waters or items contaminated by floodwaters
- sharp debris and
- venomous animals (spiders, snakes) sheltering in buildings and debris.
If your business is at risk of flooding you should have occupational health and safety procedures for dealing with the workplace hazards caused by flooding.
VICSES provides information on what to do before the flood that is relevant to both home and business owners.
Further, VICSES provides assistance for business owners to create a Business FloodSafe Plan for their business. In addition, VICSES has a page of Business Flood Safe Tips and downloadable posters (for both riverine and flash type flooding) that you should take into account when developing your Business FloodSafe Plan.