Flooding can be a devastating natural disaster that can cause significant stress and anxiety for individuals and communities. Industrial companies are not immune to the effects of flooding. They can face unique challenges in managing the stress caused by this event.
A reactive culture vs a preventive culture
One of our many strong suits is creating solutions for emergency situations. In our more than 50 years of experience dealing with disasters, we have learned that a reactive culture is still predominant over a preventive culture.
When nature strikes, it's a humbling reminder of our little control over those situations. This is when a preventive culture can ease our feeling powerless amid a natural disaster, leaving little to zero room for chaos.
In this blog, we will explore the impact of flooding as a stressor factor on industries, particularly those related to utilities.
Flooding can cause significant business interruption, as equipment and machinery may be damaged or destroyed. This can lead to financial losses and can cause stress for employees who may be concerned about their job security. Therefore, it is essential to have a business continuity plan in place to ensure that operations can resume as quickly as possible. This plan should include alternative facilities and equipment, peripheral flood protection systems, and employee communication and support plans.
For utilities, floodwaters can cause damage to electrical equipment such as transformers, breakers, and switchgear. This can lead to power outages and other issues, with significant economic and social consequences. In addition, electrical equipment that is submerged in water can become damaged beyond repair and may need to be replaced.
Most electrical substations use control systems to manage power flow throughout the grid. Unfortunately, these control systems are often located in low-lying areas, which can be prone to flooding. Floodwaters can damage these control systems, leading to a loss of control over power distribution. This can cause power outages, voltage fluctuations, and other issues that negatively impact a utility company economically and reputation-wise.
Supply chain disruptions
Flooding can also disrupt the supply chain, as roads and transportation routes may be damaged or closed. This can cause delays in receiving critical supplies and can impact production timelines. Therefore, it is crucial to have a contingency plan in place for alternative suppliers and transportation routes, such as flood protection systems. In addition, this can help reduce stress and anxiety for employees who may be concerned about meeting production targets.
For utilities, in particular, electrical substations may become inaccessible during flooding due to road closures or other transportation disruptions. This can make it difficult for utility workers to reach the substations to assess the damage and make repairs. In some cases, utilities may need to use boats or other specialized transports to safely get to the emergency site.
Flooding can also impact employee safety, as employees may be required to work in hazardous conditions. Therefore, it is vital to have proper safety protocols in place, including using personal protective equipment (PPE), flood protection systems and training on working safely in flooded areas.
Providing employees with the necessary equipment and training can help reduce their stress and anxiety, and give them a sense of control over their work environment.
For the utility industry, for example, floodwaters can also cause corrosion of electrical equipment, which can compromise its functionality and safety. The combination of water and electrical currents can cause corrosion to accelerate, which can further damage equipment and reduce its lifespan. Corrosion can also lead to employee safety hazards, such as the risk of electrical fires or explosions.
Flooding can also have environmental impacts, such as pollution and contamination of water sources. Industrial companies are responsible for ensuring that they are taking steps to minimize their environmental impact. This can include implementing sustainable practices and ensuring they comply with all environmental regulations or acquiring eco-friendly emergency systems. By taking these steps, companies can reduce their stress and anxiety about the impact of their operations on the environment.
In conclusion, flooding can significantly impact industrial companies, particularly the utility companies, causing stress and anxiety for employees and customers. Moreover, flood damage can be costly, and the time required to restore services can be lengthy. Therefore, the utility industry must invest in flood prevention measures, such as building defenses, relocating infrastructure, and implementing early warning systems to minimize the impact of floods. By doing so, the industry can help protect communities from the devastating effects of flooding and ensure the continuity of essential services.
Are you ready to protect your company from flooding? Contact us