The Long-Term Costs of Poor Facility Flood Recovery

Failure to plan for facility flood recovery sets your organization up for failure. While the business wants to think about the possibility of a flood, it is a risk that has made significant headlines in recent years. In addition, the 2019 hurricane season has already begun, and while experts believe it will be a below-average season, the threat remains. Facility Managers need to understand a few things about the long-term costs of poorly managed facility flood recovery and how they can plan for emergency facility services now.

How Long Does Facility Flood Recovery Take, and What’s It Cost?

Take a moment to think about the typical flood. Although no flood can be described as typical, it erodes the very foundation on which your building sets. Floodwaters do more damage than many people realize, rendering your inventory useless, contributing to the growth of mold in your facilities, presenting safety risks for the use of necessary resources and utilities, including electricity, water, and gas, and much more. For those that do not believe flooding is a long-term problem, look no further than the University of Iowa campus flooding in 2008, notes Dan Hounsell via FacilitiesNet. The flooding affected 2.5 million square feet and resulted in nearly three-quarters of $1 billion in damage and recovery costs. Even ten years later, the University is still working to recover and plan for the next event. Flood recovery can take much longer and cost much more than Facility Managers realize.

Why Does Flood Recovery Cost This Much?

Flood recovery is a complex topic, and it involves the complete overhaul and replacement of all building materials, including the studs in some cases, for any level of your facility affected by floodwaters. Moreover, the lasting effects of flooding continue to add to costs, and these include ongoing mold and mildew remediation, replacement of facility assets, such as the HVAC system, testing to prove facilities are safe for reentry and more. The list grows much longer from that point. Depending on the size of your facility, recovery may take weeks to "try out," and businesses that do not have a plan in place before an event occurs will likely be placed on the backlog for flood remediation. In other words, no one would be available to help a business respond when floodwaters arrive. The only solution is to plan.

What Can Facilities Managers Do to Plan for and Minimize the Costs Associated With Flood Recovery?

The exact steps for facility flood recovery will depend on your facility need. Instead of trying to plan everything in-house, most Facility Managers work with an experienced provider of flood remediation and recovery services. In other words, outsourcing facility management as emergency services is the easiest way to develop your emergency response plan. Working with an experienced emergency services provider offers critical advantages, including:

  • Security to protect your facility from the threat of intruders or looters.
  • Inspection of facilities for damage and determine what steps are necessary to minimize disruption.
  • Bringing in generators to restore power to the facility, a critical step in minimizing the damage of floodwaters.
  • Augmenting your team’s resources with additional workers to help manage the event.
  • Off-site storage for facility inventory and assets to prevent further damage.
  • Pre-flood checklists and activities to minimize damage, such as the filling of sandbags, boarding of windows, and more.
  • Mold and mildew remediation.
  • Brand awareness and reopening assistance.

Plan for the Next Big Flood Before the Storm Ever Receives Attention

Regardless of political beliefs, the incidence of flooding and significant weather events is increasing. It is not a question of whether the next flood will occur; it is a question of when. Facility Managers need to take the steps now to prepare their teams by identifying risks and evaluating emergency services vendors now. This is the only way to ensure an appropriate, timely response when flooding does occur. In fact, consumers experience flooding too, and depending on your business, disruption means consumers cannot get the products they need to survive. Getting your business back up and running could amount to helping consumers put their lives back together as well.

Eric Crabb

Eric Crabb