forest and tall trees with ground on fire orange sky

Wildfires, Floods, and What Comes After

With Colorado’s fire season in full swing, it is important to understand the associated threats to your property. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, floods are the most common and costly natural hazard in the US, especially precarious are floods that occur after wildfires.

Wildfires increase the risk of flash flooding. Typically, vegetation and ground cover absorbs rainfall, which reduces runoff. Wildfires strip the land bare, leaving water with nowhere to go. This creates flash floods and mudflows.

Recently, the Grizzly Creek burn has increased flooding risk. A few months prior to that, Colorado Springs had heavy rain. Flood risks, which are highest in spring, are now becoming more of a threat throughout the year due to weather events.

Reducing Your Risk

There are a few important things to remember when considering ways you can reduce your risk to floods. The time to prepare is now:

  1. Test your business continuation disaster plan and make adjustments if needed
  2. Double check your emergency supplies
  3. Review your coverage with your broker or with the Pool
  4. Email our dedicate safety consultant to discuss hosting a facilitated PowerNoodle session to explore your flood risk and how to manage the financial implications of a flood

Flood Recovery Options

In a flood, electrical equipment is vulnerable, and can be expensive to replace. Do not assume that your equipment can simply be dried, cleaned, and reused. It’s probably not going to work, but there are a few steps to take when dealing with damaged electrical equipment that could help.

  1. Turn off the breaker and unplug devices
  2. Consult with a qualified electrician to identify if there’s been damage to the building’s wiring
  3. Consult with an electrician. They can guide you on what to save and how best to do that

Clean Up

Flood water is very dangerous. It may contain raw sewage or toxic runoff. Those involved in clean up should take the necessary precautions to remain safe by wearing personal protective equipment. It is also important that anyone involved in cleanup has been vaccinated for tetanus.

You will undoubtedly want to re-enter your building to assess damage, but this should not be done until an expert determines it is safe. Utilities should be checked to make sure that electricity, water, and gas are turned off. You wouldn’t want power restored suddenly during your cleanup.

When assessing damage, use flashlights and head lamps instead of installed lighting. If you suspect a gas leak, leave the building immediately and call your gas company. Above all, never power up any equipment that was exposed to flood water until you have it inspected by a professional.

Remove standing water as quickly as possible, while working within the guidelines above. With standing water, there are possibilities for contamination, electrocution, and mosquitoes that use the water to breed. Bacteria and mold are also major concerns.

Coverage Options

You should also consider reviewing your Flood coverage. We provide $2 million in Flood coverage for scheduled property at no cost. However, each situation presents its own challenge. Consider increasing your limits if you believe $2 million is insufficient. It may seem like a lot of money, but flood damage can be extremely expensive.

Our coverage is limited to replacement or repairs of scheduled property and equipment. We don’t cover land improvements except those they’re scheduled. This includes golf courses, parking lots, and sidewalks. In addition, Business Income coverage could cover loss of user fees plus the cost of continuing payroll of employees if the facilities are no longer accessible to the public because a three to nine month restoration period is needed.

Take the time to review our coverage and your schedules with your broker or Pool staff. Now—with a few months to spare until spring—is the perfect time to do so.

SERVPRO

Whether your property is damaged by flooding, wildfire, or contaminated by COVID-19, SERVPRO of Greater Boulder’s restoration services can help. They provide service throughout Colorado at special rates for Pool members.

SERVPRO has highly trained specialists prepared to restore your property. They use advanced techniques to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers to dry your property.

They specialize in cleaning and sanitizing using antimicrobial treatments. SERVPRO will work with you to coordinate the disposal of refuse. They can also aid in minor building repairs for temporary protective measures.

They are available around the clock in the event of an emergency. You can reach out to them at 303-494-2000 or by visiting their website.

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