While a hurricane’s winds and rain are detrimental enough, the storm surge that follows generally causes most of the flood damage. A storm surge is created when a hurricane can be worse than the force of 120-mile-per-hour winds. This is bad news for the 4.2 million residents along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and the $1.1 trillion of property that is vulnerable to severe flood damage. As if that isn’t bad enough, over half of the U.S.’s economic productivity is along coastal zones. While floods are unpredictable and unpreventable, you can prepare now to reduce resulting damage drives water ashore, and the impact of the waves in the future.
Types of Damage Caused by Storm Surges
- Building damage or displacement
- Damage to coastal roads, highways and rail lines
- Mold growth in buildings
- Loss of business
- Damage to property and assets
- Port closures
Tips to Save on Flood Damage Restoration
Hurricane season quickly follows springtime storms. The best way to reduce the damage caused by storm surges is to take proactive steps well before the start of hurricane season.
- Build higher or reinforce. If you own the building and it’s economically feasible, determine the base flood elevation of your business’ property and build above it. Otherwise, consider hiring an engineer to reinforce the building.
- Go higher. If your business is located in a two-story property, move the computers, technical equipment, and valuable assets to the second floor of the building.
- Smart installations: Install back-flow valves in the building’s sewer lines to prevent municipal sewage from entering the property if there is a storm surge. Elevate electrical systems like switches and outlets above your area’s flood level. Similarly, use cinder blocks to raise appliances.
- Choose fast-drying materials. Wet drywall and carpeting are vulnerable to mold damage. Upgrade building materials to ones that dry quickly when wet, such as wood flooring.
- Invest in hurricane shutters. While plywood can work well if you’re in a pinch, it may be difficult to find and install when there’s a hurricane warning. Bypass the commotion at lumber stores and install commercial-grade hurricane shutters over windows and doors.
Avoid flood damage restoration by preparing now for unexpected floods and storm surges. With little time to prepare before a storm arrives, taking inventory of valuable business resources, and determining a list of action items to carry out, can save businesses resources, time, and money. To learn more about how to protect your business from a flood or storm surge, or if you need help recovering from such a disaster, contact Polygon today.
Photo by University of Salford via CC license.