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Facilities: Storm Preparation

April 9, 2007
With the storm season upon us, manufacturers should prepare for the worst.

June 27, 2006, is a day workers at Magee Rieter Automotive Systems in Bloomsburg, Pa., probably would like to forget. That's when severe flooding plagued the Susquehanna River valley where the company is located and much of the Mid-Atlantic region.

Magee Rieter rebounded quickly, but other manufacturers haven't been as lucky when Mother Nature hits. To help plants better prepare for such risks, industrial property insurer FM Global conducts fire tests and severe-weather simulations on facility structures at its $78 million research campus in West Glocester, R.I.

FM Global's research facility applies hurricane-force winds to a roof model to see how it will react.With spring in full swing and summer storms on the way, FM Global offers the following flood preparation and response tips:
  • Identify all likely sources of flooding that could impact the facility and develop a flood emergency response plan.
  • Determine the method of getting an advance flood warning and continuously monitor flood conditions.
  • Relocate to elevated areas critical items, such as high-value stock, electronic and computer equipment, vehicles and important records and files.
  • Secure or anchor any outside storage or equipment that cannot be moved.
  • Regularly check sump pumps to make sure they are operational.
  • Check roof, floor or yard drains to see if they are clear, and then continuously monitor them to make sure they remain clear during and after a flooding event.
  • Install flood doors and shields and create permanent barriers around critical equipment.

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