Flooding occurs quite a bit in the Pittsburgh and surrounding tri-state area. While it usually happens during the spring and summer when heavy rain hits, but we’d had flooding in the winter during fast warm-ups, and in the fall during hurricane remnants. If you’re a business, you’ll need to have a year-round flood plan. Here’s what you should do:
Factors that Affect a Business’ Flood Plan
- Know Your Location. Of course, the most important factor is where your business is located. Western Pennsylvania and its surrounding areas have many rivers and streams which flood regularly when there’s a great deal of rain. If you are close to a river or stream, how close are you? Are you in a low-lying area? If so, has flooding occurred there before? Look at 100-year and 500-year flood zones on a flood map for an idea of what the damage could be.
- Research. Search newspapers archives and talk to your businesses’ neighbors to see if there’s been recurring flooding in the area in the past 20 years or so. The City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Safety has a website with an interactive map of floodways that shows how high the crest of the three rivers gets during floods, as well as a flood map of the destructive January 1996 flood.
My Business Is In A Flood Zone. Now What?
In Western Pennsylvania, businesses in a designated flood zone have flood insurance to help with the clean up and restoration of their property and business. If your business has been flooded in the past, you should know these things:
- How Deep Does the Flood Water Get During an Event? During a flood, the higher the water gets, the more pressure that is put on walls. Once the water reaches nearly three feet, it can cause walls to cracks, and if some cases, crumble if the wall isn’t durable.
- How Long Will the Water Take to Recede? Will the water run into your business, and then start running right out? You should determine if the water will be trapped for some time due to your business’ structure.
- What Will Be in the Water? As flood waters rise, they take debris from runoff streams and will unfortunately deliver that right to your door (or basement). When the water recedes, you may be left with sewage, garbage, soil, and chemicals.
- Who Will Clean the Damage? Before an unfortunate flooding event occurs, you should make contact with a water damage restoration company.
Take all of these factors in consideration to develop a flood plan for your business. Firewater Response 365 is the tri-state area’s most knowledgeable and professional emergency disaster remediation company. Call us today to schedule an appointment if you’d like to learn more about our services. If you are experiencing a water damage event, we have a 24-hour rapid response line, so call us at any time.