How to mitigate the flood risk in a high rise?
Blog summary: This SERVPRO blog recommends some measures that high rises can take to mitigate flood risks.
Flood prevention tips for high rises
Flooding not only impacts single-story homes but also high-rises - not just at the ground level but also on higher floors. SERVPRO, a commercial water damage restoration service, discusses how high rises can mitigate the flood risks.
- Understand the flood risk
- Location: A high-rise near a water body or in a flood zone is naturally at an elevated risk but there are other factors to consider. For instance, high-rises built in valleys or low-lying areas may be vulnerable to flooding, even though they are far from water.
- Construction: Buildings with basements or multiple underground levels may be at an increased flooding risk. High-rises with basements should be checked for sump pumps and generators. This inspection can reveal the absence or inadequacy of this equipment and, thereby, highlight the risks to the building in a flood scenario.
- Property management: A professional property management company can help identify the weak spots and vulnerabilities of a building. With decades of experience and knowledge of the area, these teams can create a foundation for a flood preparedness plan.
- Protect critical systems
- The mechanical and electrical systems should be insulated and protected to ensure they are functional in case of flooding.
- The building’s water pump should also be taken care of in case of water shortage. In most cities, the municipal system doesn’t push water beyond the sixth floor in case of floods. That means no water will be available while the occupants are stranded during floods. A water pump would be a blessing.
- The fire pump, which operates the sprinkler system, must be shielded from potential flood damage.
- Ensure emergency staircase and corridor lighting will function even during a power outage.
- In taller buildings, at least one elevator must work during an emergency.
- Essential backup systems must be maintained and should be functional during emergencies.
- Plan the storage of materials in the basement carefully. Any materials such as fuel or heating oils must be removed lest they become environmental hazards for the residents during the flooding.
- Communicate the emergency plan
Document a detailed emergency plan encompassing a wide variety of disasters, including fire, medical emergencies, and floods. This plan must include:
- Emergency contacts
- Evacuation maps and directions
- Insurance claim tips
- Items for personal disaster preparedness kits
- Provisions to protect vulnerable residents, such as the elderly, people with disabilities, and children.
These plans are futile without appropriate communication. There are several methods to ensure clear communication such as FirstService Residential’s proprietary system, Resident Alert, sending critical updates via email, text message, or phone during times of crisis.
- Review the insurance
It is best practice to review the insurance policy with an insurance agent specializing in high-rise properties annually. This yearly review ensures that the property has the best coverage available at the best price. By implementing policies that mitigate the property’s flood risk, the insurance premiums can also be reduced.
In case of flooding and water damage, high rises must contact commercial water damage restoration companies such as SERVPRO to help restore the property to its original glory, and help residents get back to their lives as soon as possible.
- SERVPRO uses state-of-the-art equipment to bring the damaged property back to its original state. SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin is always updating its fleet and equipment so clients in Lago Vista and surrounding areas can quickly access the services.
- With over 1,700 US and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to respond faster to an emergency of any magnitude.
- The SERVPRO staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. They receive initial in-house training and constant skill up-gradation at the corporate training facility and also acquire IICRC-industry certification.
For commercial water damage restoration, call SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin today at (512) 318-2200.