How to Prepare for Floods at Churches, Schools & Nonprofits

Streets Flooded From Storm photo

Flood Preparation for Your Property, Business and Mission

All along the Gulf Coast, we live in an area constantly at the mercy of bad weather. From torrential rainstorms throughout the year to tropical storms and hurricanes during season. These storms downpour a lot of rain, after which flooding becomes a serious issue for everyone. So, how should we best prepare for floods?

Hurricane Season

Between June 1st and November 30th
If a hurricane is approaching, see our article: Prepare and Protect Your Church in a Hurricane

Floods are tremendous threats to life and property. Floridians have lost billions to hurricanes and flood damage. For instance, Hurricane Irma cost $50 billion in residential damages and $2.5 billion in lost business.


Flooding and the aftermath are especially devastating to Florida businesses. So, in this article, we share flood facts and ways to safeguard your commercial property. Take the time to understand the various risks involved with flooding in your area. Then make informed decisions on the best flood protection approach for your business. Because, investing in preventative measures now can save you time, money and a lot of stress in the future.

Florida Flood Facts

Florida is absolutely beautiful making it a great place for vacations and retirement. What makes Florida so popular is its abundance of water and the many activities it brings. But, the large amounts of water cause problems when heavy rainstorms linger around for days. Also, the state’s topography has features that make it even more prone to flooding.

Florida Ocean Shoreline photo

The state of Florida is prone to floods due to several factors:

  • 1st state to be hit by hurricanes from the South East.
  • 2nd highest state for longest coastline and shoreline in US.
  • 2nd lowest state above sea level in US.
  • Water already covers over 18% of the state naturally.

Flood Damage by State

The chart below show the economic damage to commercial buildings due to flood risk as share of the GDP in the United States. As of 2022, Florida is tied for the third highest state for economic damage.

Statistic: Economic damage to commercial buildings due to flood risk as share of GDP in the United States in 2022, by state | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

8 Tips on Flood Preparation

Before a storm, it is crucial to know the flood risks specific to the area around your church, school or nonprofit. Then, follow our tips to prepare and protect your commercial property. These money-saving suggestions are from years of exposure to flooding in Florida.

  1. Make a property flood prevention plan
  2. Create barriers to direct flood water away
  3. Block doors to buildings with sandbags
  4. Board up windows or use storm shutters
  5. Raise appliances/utilities to higher level
  6. Move other expensive items off ground
  7. Renew or add adequate flood insurance
  8. Monitor your local news, weather and forecasts carefully
Hurricane Force Winds on Trees photo

“BE SAFE! In the aftermath of a large storm, you are not out of danger yet. Always remember your life is more valuable than the property.”

7 Tips to Reduce Flood Damage

After a flood, it is imperative to be aware of potential lingering risks. Flood waters cause not only physical issues but also biological and chemical hazards that can last for days and weeks. So, make sure you take proper precautions for the health and safety of yourself and your members. Then consider the following tips to help prevent more damage to you, your staff or your property.

  1. Await confirmation from local authorities that it’s safe to go outside.
  2. When on the road, take caution to steer clear of debris and standing water.
  3. Eliminate all standing water on the property to prevent further issues.
  4. Take photos of areas with damage and possessions that were destroyed.
  5. Inspect any septic tanks, leaching systems or sewage for any damage.
  6. Disinfect any surfaces that have come into contact with flood waters.
  7. Rent dehumidifiers to eliminate excess moisture and decrease mold.

Closed Business Due to Flood photo

Did you know? Floods are the most frequent natural disaster in the US. Yet commercial property insurance does not include damage from flooding. Therefore, you must add a specific policy that covers floods. But, many people don’t know this so flood coverage is often left out of their policy. Although businesses have property insurance, not all policies cover flooding.


6 Facts About Flood Insurance

Flood coverage is another crucial part of protecting your church, school or nonprofit. The devastating effects of flooding can cause irreparable damages or even total loss. With proper flood coverage, your organization can continue on its mission. Consider the flood facts below when deciding if flood insurance is right for you.

  1. In the United States, floods are the most frequent kind of disaster.
  2. Despite what you have heard, all of Florida is considered a flood zone.
  3. Roughly 1/4 of flood claims are in areas with low to moderate flood risk.
  4. Commercial property and Umbrella insurance policies do not cover flood damage.
  5. All new flood insurance policies do not begin until after 30-days have passed.
  6. If Federal Disaster Assistance is available it is usually a loan with interest.

Proactive Flood Insurance

Don’t wait to review your commercial insurance policy. Discuss your current coverage with a qualified agent to protect your business assets. Double-check your coverage amounts and the deductible. Ensure your coverage is adequate to repair or replace property lost due to flooding.

IMPORTANT: If a tropical storm is headed your way (250 miles from coast or less), your area may be put on a moratorium. Upgrading your coverage, purchasing a new policy or modifying your current one is not allowed during this time. Don’t wait for hurricane season… Get your flood policy today!

Flood Waters Rising

Naturally, any building in a flood zone should have flood insurance. But even those that are not still have the option to get flood coverage. Contrary to popular belief, flood insurance is for all areas of Florida… Regardless if you are in an official flood zone or not. Each property is unique, don’t rely on advice from other businesses near you. We recommend considering your own needs for coverage.

Property Insurance Protection photo

IMPORTANT: Flood insurance plans evolve over time. Your church, school or nonprofit may not have been in a flood zone when built or even just a few years back. But it does not mean it is not in a flood zone now. Be sure to check before it is too late.

Flooded by the Cost of Damages

Flood insurance claims are often the only way for organizations to recover after a flood. Without coverage, the cost to repair damages and replace lost items would be too much.

Help and Guidance Through a Flood of Uncertainty

Beacon helps churches, schools and nonprofits with specialized coverage and protection. We assist ministries across the Gulf continue their mission with peace of mind. Our safety resources reduce risk in unique organizations just like yours. With over 25 years of experience, our mission is to protect and serve those who serve others.


Conclusion

We hope this article on flooding and the tips we shared help your church, school or nonprofit. Floods can be a frightening experience for even the bravest of people. And although preparing for a flood can be daunting, stressing about it never helps. Remember to stay calm so you are ready to solve problem. With the proper preparation, you can be ready for almost anything.

Our greatest mission at Beacon has always been to illuminate our clients’ path to peace of mind.
We strive to empower them with the safety information they need to go out in service to the world.

Beacon Insurance Agency has served schools, churches and nonprofits for over a decade. We have built a solid reputation for providing our clients with specialized coverage… Insurance policies tailored to their needs as well as offering invaluable safety resources. In striving to provide the very best service, we partner with GuideOne (www.guideone.com). This allows us to provide risk management guidance and custom coverage solutions.

Contact us today for help in reviewing your flood coverage and commercial property policy.
We can also discuss new or additional insurance coverage if needed.


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