Record flooding in the Midwest and Great Plains has caused at least $3 billion in damage to the region. Forecasters have predicted that portions of the river could remain high for the next couple of months.

In particular, Nebraska suffered nearly $1.4 billion in projected damage, according to state officials. Satellite images show devastating results:

Before flooding:

Source: Omaha World Herald

After flooding:

Source: Omaha World Herald

Protective Security Advisors offers services to businesses to prepare for disasters like this. FEMA finds that 40% of businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster, with an additional 25% failing within one year. This is a devastating statistic.

 

Once disaster hits, it’s obviously too late to plan. Here are some things we recommend businesses do immediately:

  • Take pictures of any damage including your building/office, equipment, supplies, and inventory.
  • Contact your insurance company with a preliminary damage assessment, prioritizing the equipment/assets that you need to keep your business running. Understand your benefits and potential payout. Find out if the payout will be in cash, asset replacement, or both. Also, find out if your insurance can cover paying your employees in the case that your business cannot operate currently.
  • Make sure you understand how your staff has been affected by the disaster.
  • Contact vendors, suppliers, or anyone making deliveries to you. Postpone or cancel purchasing supplies and inventory. Cancel orders that you aren’t able to accept right now.
  • Inform customers if any orders have been lost or damaged or if shipping will be delayed.

We also recommend that eligible businesses contact local and/or government agencies for support. Here’s a couple we know about:

  • Farmers and ranchers with livestock deaths might be eligible to receive assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency. The department also provides loans to help producers recover from flooding.
  • Residents and business owners who sustained losses in designated counties (Butler, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Nemaha, Sarpy, Saunders, and Washington) can apply for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). According to a White House press release, assistance can include grants for “…temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.”