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A Flood Can Happen Anywhere. Is Your Bank Ready?

25% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate- to low-risk areas. This means you don’t have to be in a high-risk zone to be affected. Floods can cause serious damage. While a few inches of water doesn’t seem like much, it can knock you down. Flash floods often occur without warning in densely populated areas.

Keeping your employees safe during a flood requires preparation and readiness. Follow this guide to get them safely through a flood.

Common flooding hazards
Floods come on quickly. A narrow creek can rise from six inches to 10 feet in under an hour. Knowing your risk for flooding can assist with planning. Keep these hazards in mind:

  • Heavy rain, ice, levy or dam failure, snowmelt, and debris jams contribute to flash floods.
  • Rapid runoff occurs on steep, mountainous, or hilly terrain.
  • Urban, rocky, or burn-scarred terrain floods faster because little water seeps into rocks, clay soil, concrete, or asphalt.


Preparing for a flood
You can implement these steps right now:

  • Prepare personal protective equipment for workers, such as heavy-duty gloves and goggles.
  • Make an evacuation plan and practice it regularly.
  • Establish an emergency chain of command.
  • Determine a way to track workers’ locations during the flood.
  • Have food and water available for those employees who may have to stay at work during a flood.

Once you get a flood alert:

  • Use FEMA tools to gather more information.
  • Place important documents in waterproof boxes.
  • Tell employees to keep their medications with them in case they become stuck at work.


During a flood
Take shelter during the flood. Stay up to date on flood warnings and advisories through your phone, radio, or TV. Tell your employees to:

  • Stay away from bridges, basements, parking garages, and areas prone to flooding.
  • Never drive, walk or swim through floodwaters.
  • Avoid downed electrical lines.
  • Turn off power at the main breaker if water nears the circuits.
  • Practice proper form to avoid injury when lifting sandbags, which many people use to erect barriers to keep out water.


After a Flood Precautions
Flood hazards don’t end when the rain stops. Continue to take post-flood precautions such as:

  • Ventilate work areas to prevent mold growth.
  • Throw away mold-damaged materials and disinfect wet items with a bleach-water mixture.
  • Employ goggles and gloves when handling anything that touched floodwaters.
  • Guard against hearing damage by providing earplugs to employees located close to loud cleanup equipment such as blowers or chainsaws.
  • Wear long pants and long sleeves when near standing flood water
  • Move upwind of activities that generate concrete, brick, or stone dust in order to avoid breathing in crystalline silica.
  • Stay out of buildings where flooding has caused extensive mold or structural weakness.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating, applying lip balm, smoking, or doing anything mouth-related.
  • Decontaminate rain boots and gear exposed to floodwaters.
  • Use gas-powered generators outdoors only in order to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Wear long pants and long sleeves when near standing floodwater, which can attract mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus.
  • Do not drive in emergencies until authorities say it’s safe.


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