Heavy rains recently pounded south Texas, causing disastrous flooding and damage. As a result, Governor Greg Abbott issued a federal disaster declaration for Hidalgo and Cameron counties which include the cities of McAllen, Harlingen, Weslaco, Brownsville and Sharyland. Many residents and business owners of the Rio Grande Valley were not prepared for the excessive rainfall. In Weslaco alone, almost 100 businesses were flooded with 18 inches of water. The National Weather Service has estimated damage to be around $100 million.
Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Because it’s difficult to predict how much flooding a storm will cause, it’s important for business owners to be proactive and have a flood safety plan in place. The American Red Cross released a series of flood safety tips on what to do before, during and after a storm.
To begin, you must familiarize yourself with the types of flood risks in your area. You can find this information at FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center. If flash flooding is a risk in your location, learn and practice evacuation routes and gather supplies in case you must leave immediately, or services are cut off. Move valuables to higher levels and put important documents in a waterproof container.
During a flood, go to your pre-designated safe spot, unless you are told to evacuate. Do not attempt to walk, swim or drive through flood waters. The McAllen deputy fire chief said that flooding situations can be very dangerous because you don’t know what’s under the water. It could be contaminated or hiding debris, exposed electrical cords or animals. Your safest best is to contact the authorities or volunteers to get rescued.
After the flood, business owners and property managers should listen to the authorities and only return when they deem it to be safe. Video surveillance operators can check security camera feeds in real-time to assess damages and any potential safety risks like exposed wires. If they see any dangers, they can contact you, local police or other emergency respondents.
It’s hurricane season and that means the potential for high winds, excessive rain and flooding. If your property is in the path of a storm, take the proper precautionary measures and most importantly, be safe.
If you would like more information about flood safety and how can video surveillance can help your commercial property during extreme weather, contact us here.