How to create a site-specific flood response plan

Published On : 17 Jun 2021

The intent of a Flood Response Plan is to commit to a best effort to reduce the impact of a flood.

You can minimise the potential damage of a flood with careful preparation and a good flood response plan. You do not need to engage in any form of active ‘flood fight’ during the event to prevent floodwaters from entering your site, or spend heavily on specialised equipment.

You can instead pre-plan a practical strategy to make best use of available staff, equipment and time. It is important your management team has a full understanding of the flood scenario, including key vulnerabilities, available labour and physical resources.

You should also consider the training requirements and the investment required.

Many Insurers recommend that any site within 500-year flood zone should have a basic flood response plan, and any sites within a 100-year flood zone should ensure they have a more detailed plan that is reviewed annually.

Flood response plan requirements

  1. Understand the nature of the flood and potential areas that could be affected.
    1. The source and direction of the flood.
    2. Weather events that may trigger flood and/or surface water inundation.
    3. Estimation of the time it would take for the site to be flooded from potential flood events. From this, an estimation of the time required to put in place the response plans and actions.
    4. The likely depth of water on the site and in low-lying areas (such as basements).
    5. The flooding likelihood. This is usually the flood return level.
    6. Estimation of how long water would remain in the facility,
    7. Estimation of the potential costs of damage and the impact to business.


  2. Designate and clearly articulate in the plan who has the responsibility and authority to activate the plan and flood response. In addition, clearly define, designate and articulate who is responsible for implementing the plan and their authority to take the planned actions


  3. Within the plan, identify the particular actions that when deployed, will have significant impact over the whole site or affect key operations. This may include powering down of electrical power, shutdown of gas and other utilities.

    Ensure the person(s) responsible for such activities is clearly defined, designated and their authority reinforced. The procedures for powering down or shutting down sites and processes should be fully documented. This should include not only the task but also timing of the shutdown processes.


  4. Devise a plan to remove standing or ponding water in key critical areas such as basements, areas containing high value equipment, or ponding in the racking storage areas.


  5. Fully plan and document practices and procedures for relocating equipment and storage to higher levels.


  6. Ensure staff that have been designated specific roles and responsibilities understand their roles fully. The roles should be documented and training provided where necessary.


  7. Designate someone to monitor flood information official sources such as the government, local authorities, media and jurisdictional bodies.


  8. Identify (and consider retaining) key contractors and suppliers in case of flood. This includes but is not limited to: generator hire, emergency sump pumps, sandbags, mops, buckets, forklift trucks etc.


  9. Devise a clean-up plan for your site for after a flood situation. Your plan should consider issues such as potential contamination, clean up material and equipment, drainage requirements, consent for water release into waterways, repair of facility and equipment, power-up protocols, communication with authorities and best ways to restore business and minimise interruptions.


  10. Review and practice the plan annually.

Take time to evaluate when the pre-flood season activities should take place and the realistic time needed to carry out the listed activities when flood is imminent, this will guide you in initiating these  activities at the proper time.


To view our checklist of activities, download our handy PDF


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