The only guarantees in life are death, taxes and our inability to control the weather. April showers may bring May flowers, but heavy rains can severely affect your business and your bottom line. Have a storm approaching? This is not the time for an anti-rain dance or a “Hope it misses us” mentality. Don’t wait until the last minute. If you haven’t done your homework and prepared ahead of time, a severe storm can result in the following severe consequences:
- Environmental Impact: It is highly recommended that storm drains be inspected and cleaned out on a regular basis. Stormwater runoff (dirt, trash, paper, bottle caps, etc.) can result in pollution to the environment. If you operate near a navigable waterway and hold a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit, that trash could be expensive and you could be held responsible for hefty fines from the Environmental Protection Agency. Plus the negative publicity doesn’t help either.
- Facility Damage: Points of entry for rainwater into your facility include the roof, floors, dock doors, pedestrian doorways and windows. This liquid intrusion can result in expensive damage to the structure, machinery, inventory, etc. A damaged building needs to be repaired and repairmen don’t come cheap. Damage to machinery may result in downtime and a significant loss of production. Finished goods inventory that is damaged as a result of water usually cannot be salvaged and must be disposed of. Water-damaged raw materials must be evaluated or tested before production can resume. Water can also damage furnishings causing unsightly and unhealthy mold and mildew issues.
- Employee Safety: Water can create dangerous slippery floors. This can lead to injuries to employees, contractors or visitors, resulting in possible litigation and/or lost time and expensive workers’ compensation claims.
So what can you do to prepare for a severe weather event? We’ve dubbed this the “Three P” Process: Plan, Prepare and Products.
- Plan: Don’t wait until the last minute to start planning for an impending storm. Do a site assessment of your facility to identify potentially dangerous or problem-prone areas. Have a written storm preparedness plan in place and update it regularly as your business and employee mix changes.
- Prepare: Train employees on what to do before, during and after a severe storm. Have an action plan in place for employees both at work and also with their families at home. Consider things like a 72-hour disaster kit, and related safety tips to protect people, pets and property.
- Products: Since water can attack your facility in a myriad of ways, here are some proven products that can help you prevent or mitigate the damage.
- Leak Diverters: Duct Tape, a bucket and a cone is not the way to tackle a roof leak. Help protect your people, equipment and inventory with quick and easy-to-deploy Leak Diverters. Choose from umbrella-style, tarp, ceiling tile or other types that best fit your application.
- SpillBlocker Dikes: Reusable and tear-resistant barriers that confine and divert liquids without absorbing them make cleanup or reclamation easier.
- Flood Barriers: Water seeping under your entranceway doors or pouring in low-level dock doors? Consider an array of products including absorbent socks, sandbags and quick dams. The combination of high absorbency and moldability make socks ideal for creating a temporary barrier. Sandbags are OK, but an even better solution are Quick Dams, an innovative “sandless sandbag” that can be put down without filling and carrying heavy sandbags. These flat sacks contain a superabsorbent polymer powder that swells on contact with water to form a solid, heavy barrier that keeps water out, and they can be reused. And don’t forget to stock up on spill kits to absorb excess water that enters your building.
- Drain Plugs: If water is entering your facility through a floor drain, an easy-to-install Drain Plug will stop the flow of water.
You tell us: Are you ready if a storm is heading your way? How do you prepare? Let us know in the comments section below!