What you can learn from the latest storm damage in Texas?
On the 22nd of August, large parts of Texas were hit by a massive storm that caused devastating flooding affecting homeowners and businesses in many towns and cities. Areas of Dallas-Fort Worth that were slammed by heavy rainfall had flash flooding.
Emergency crews had to respond to hundreds of flood-related emergencies. At the same time, the water wreaked havoc in the areas of North Texas where students recently started school. The original forecast for Dallas was to receive 8 inches of rain, but the rainfall was well in excess of those expectations in some areas.
South Dallas and Pleasant Grove registered more than fourteen inches of rain over 24 hours, and downtown Dallas recorded more than 10 inches.
In the past years, Texas has been hit by a series of devastating floods. The most recent one happened after Hurricane Harvey in 2017, which resulted in the death of more than 80 people and caused billions of dollars worth of damage.
The time before that was when a flood hit Texas in 2015 when it was flooded with rain from Hurricane Patricia. This led to at least eight deaths and $5 billion in damage.
How to Prepare for a Flood and What to Expect After the Disaster
A flood is a natural event that can cause severe damage to the environment. It results from the overflow of lakes, streams, rivers and the sea onto land that is not usually covered by water.
Preparing for a flood is never easy. There are different types of flooding, each of which has unique characteristics. Here are some tips on preparing for a flood and what to expect after one. Many business owners make the mistake of not getting business insurance for their buildings, thinking it will be too expensive or such an event won’t happen to them; however, floods can happen at any time and in any place.
They can come from cyclones, landslides, heavy rain or snow that melts quickly, etc. Prepare by checking with your insurance company if you’re covered before it’s too late. If you’re not insured, make sure to get coverage ASAP because they will probably raise the prices substantially after the incident has happened and other businesses around your area have been flooded by water.
What Causes Floods?
Floods happen when there’s simply too much water on land that it’s not supposed to be on. Flooding can have various consequences, including death, injury, and damage to property, particularly to buildings and critical infrastructure. Heavy rainfall, snow melt, and high tides can cause flooding.
There is a chance of floods when three or more inches of rain occur in a day. The threat of flooding is especially high in the Southeastern United States, which has a much longer coastline and more mobile climate than other parts of the country. In Florida, for example, more than 70% of the state experiences flash flooding each year. In Alabama and Georgia, the percentage is even higher at 80%.
Texas has many large rivers that are a long way from outlets into the ocean, which can cause flooding when flood water flows over their banks. Hurricanes are another natural hazard that make their way up the United States western coastline. Some other natural hazards in the United States are tornadoes, earthquakes, blizzards, and lightning storms. These threats can be particularly devastating if they happen in a densely populated area.
The United States has a high risk level for natural disasters, which is also why the U.S. has experienced many natural disasters over the years.
As a country with frequent natural hazards and high levels of risk, the United States has some mandatory safety precautions. In most cases, these precautions are enforced by state governments.
What to do immediately after a flood
Floods are a natural disaster that can cause serious damage to homes and businesses. If you are the victim of a flood, it is important to act quickly and take appropriate action. If your property was damaged due to a flood, work quickly to secure it. Flooding can make it more dangerous for you and your family if you don’t take the proper precautions.
Remember that most flooding damages are covered by insurance, no matter how much time has passed since the event occurred. Many homeowners and businesses can choose to buy insurance that covers the cost of damages caused by flooding.
This type of policy usually requires you to provide proof of the event in order for it to be approved, so make sure you do so if you need this coverage. Contact your insurance company if you need assistance with cleaning up and recovering from a flood.
Numerous companies offer flood insurance. Please speak to your insurance broker, agent or advisor to learn more about the coverage types they offer.
Flood insurance can cover the cost of replacing items that have been destroyed by water. The first thing you should do after a flood is contacting your insurance carrier and file a claim. You will need to provide documentation of the damage, which will help get your claim approved.
Your insurance company may send an adjuster out to assess the damage and recommend what course of action should be taken next. At that point, you may want to consider consulting a professional for water extraction and restoration services. If you don’t have flood insurance and the damage is significant, you may need to consider obtaining it in the future.
If you have flood insurance, it is important that you file your claim as soon as possible so that you can get back on track with rebuilding your business. To file a flood insurance claim, visit http://www.floodsmart.gov/ for a list of companies and agencies that may be able to help you.
If you do not have flood insurance and your business premises have been damaged by flooding, visit https://www.usa.gov/disaster-area-help for more information about what resources are available to help you get back on your feet again.
How to prepare for a flood before it happens
Preparing for a flood can seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. The best way to prepare for a flood is to know the signs of flooding and be aware of your location’s surroundings. Symptoms of flooding vary depending on the time and season.
Flooding can occur with rain, snow, ice, or high water levels. Flooded areas may be as simple as wet ground in your courtyard or a flooded road near your shop, rising to much more extensive flood damage in other parts of the property that is covered by water. If you spot yellow caution tape, you need to evacuate the area.
It is essential to have a plan in place before flooding occurs. A simple way to determine if you should worry about flooding is by checking the current water level. Check the current water level on their website if your workplace is located near a river or stream or an ocean or lake.
Place sandbags around the base of your shop, office or warehouse. If you are in a low-lying area, it is vital to build up defenses against flooding. This can help to keep flood water from entering through the lowest points in your buildings.
It is possible to get inundated with more than two feet of standing water; therefore, it is important that you know what to do ahead of time.
Know the Signs – reading the signs of flooding can help you decide when you need to evacuate or take other precautions. Flooding can happen in any season, so it’s important that you know what these signs are so that you can take action as soon as they happen.
Be Aware – keeping yourself aware of your buildings surroundings is vital because many floods happen because people didn’t know what was happening around them. This is why knowing your surroundings is a good idea so that you can take any precautions.
- Prepare for Floods
- Know the Signs of Flooding
- Have an evacuation plan ready and know what to do if flooding occurs.
- Be prepared by having the right insurance that covers all the costs of recovery and rebuilding
Reconstruction after flooding
Water can severely damage buildings, roads and infrastructure. Floods can also cause landslides and mudslides.
The aftereffects of landslides and mudslides can be devastating and it can take years to rebuild what was lost. The reconstruction process after landslides and mudslides often includes demolishing buildings, removing the mud and building debris, repairing infrastructure, and restoring utilities.
Many building contractors specialize in reconstruction after a flood, and they may be contracted to do specific tasks like removing all the furniture and equipment from an office, for example, and making the place safe for reoccupation. A building company may also be responsible for the initial demolition of a property after flooding, and then rebuilding it. They may build a new foundation, remove all the old walls and flooring, and then put in new walls, floors and ceilings. When a building contractor is hired, the cost of construction is based on the type of work.
Insurance claims after flooding
The floods in Texas have caused many companies to lose their places of business and their ways of earning their livelihoods. Insurance claims are an important part of the reconstruction process, but they can be challenging to navigate.
If your shop, factory or warehouse is flooded, you must contact your insurance provider immediately to let them know. Keep records of every communication (subject, times and dates) for future reference in case of any dispute.
Check your insurance policy thoroughly before contacting your insurer. Make sure you know what deductibles you have agreed to. Suppose the cost of repairs is not significantly higher than the deductible. In that case, it may be better to pay for the repairs yourself.
This could work out cheaper than having to pay significantly higher insurance premiums in the future because of having a claims history. The cost of the repairs would be a tax deductible, the same as insurance premiums.
Depending on your policy’s conditions, you may be entitled to different levels of cover, so check first. If your policy covers these services, you may also be able to get any water-damaged items replaced and call in professional cleaners.
Claims can be denied if the damage was not caused by flooding or if the owner is not accurately reporting what happened. Floods, landslides and mudslides can cause a lot of damage to roads, homes, offices and factories.
It’s essential to find an experienced building company that can start to do the clean-up and repairs quickly after the disaster has passed.
Questions for your insurance provider
Once you call them to make a claim, your insurance provider should send over a loss adjuster who will assess the amount of damage to your business premises. When you call the insurance company make sure that they let you know how long it’ll be till a loss adjuster is sent over, whether they will help pay for and organize the cleaning of your property, and who will be looking after the claim. Remember that the assessor works for the insurance company – be ready to argue when they seem to be ignoring or downplaying your rights.
Selecting the right builder to repair or replace your flood-damaged workplace
The builder must choose the right construction materials after the flood so that the damage isn’t repeated next time there is another flood.
To reduce the immediate damage caused by the water, surround the building in sandbags. This will help keep the water from entering the building and causing further damage. Put down mats to protect floors. Leaving water on top of the carpeting can cause it to mold. If the power is disconnected in the area, turn off all gas lines and electrical outlets at the main switchboard.
After floods, it is important to take some preventative measures before rebuilding your property. You should make sure that the building materials you use are resistant to water, as well as make sure that your building contractor has experience in flood reconstruction.
Suppose you are planning on rebuilding your house. In that case, you should ensure that a floodproof building envelope is installed to resist water. You should ensure that no gaps between the outside of the foundation and its support wall, as this will allow water in from the outside. You should make sure that you do not have any gaps between floors, as this will allow water to enter your shop and cause even more damage.
Buildings constructed on a slope may not be able to bear their weight in the event of a flood due to gravity.
Suppose you’re concerned about the value of your property during reconstruction after a flood. In that case, there are ways to add value back into it. For example, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides grants to individuals and businesses affected by a disaster.
You can apply for a grant of up to $33,000, which can be used to rebuild your property. Many nonprofit organizations also help businesses to rebuild their workplaces after disasters through loans and grants.
The most important lesson to be learned when you start your recovery after devastation like these floods is that you must plan what you are going to do, and get professional advice from the people and agencies with experience and knowledge.
Most importantly, keep your insurance company fully informed of every step you are taking, so that no wires get crossed that could end up extending the process by months or even years if a dispute arises.