Rising Tides, Rising Risks: Flood Resistance for Commercial Real Estate

Mar 28, 2024

In recent days, the northeast region of the US has been affected by unprecedented flooding.

Flash floods pose a significant threat, not only due to their inherent danger but also because of the substantial and irreversible damage they can inflict on affected structures. Adequate preparedness for flooding is paramount in safeguarding commercial real estate, ensuring the safety of employees or residents, and protecting the integrity of the properties themselves. 

By the numbers:

  • US businesses could spend over $13 billion to repair and replace flood damaged commercial real estate properties in the span of just one year  
  • Over 700,000 retail, office, and multi-family properties face risks of potential flood damage  
  • All 50 states have been impacted by flooded in the past five years  
  • 25% of all flood-damaged businesses never reopen  
  • The average flood damage claim for a business is $89,000  

What precautions can you take now?

Planning for potential impacts of climate change, whether flooding, hurricanes, fires, or other natural disasters to mitigate climate risk, is a highly beneficial and important strategy for climate resiliency. 

  • Make changes to your properties with high vulnerability to flooding Flood proof the building envelope and interior areas with the highest risk of flooding. Place crucial equipment on higher surfaces. Ensure that inventory is placed in low-risk areas. 
  • Protect Crucial Systems Protecting equipment like generators and transformers, along with gas mains and water lines can be critical to salvaging your property and the contents inside it. 
  • Develop a flood preparedness plan A flood preparedness plan is crucial to minimizing both business interruptions as well as long-term property value. 

For more information on our CRE advisory services, check out our related resources: 

Build with Climate Resillience in mind

At EBI, we understand the importance of climate resiliency when it comes to commercial real estate. After the devastation of Hurricane Ian last year, EBI’s Chris Corsten conducted an informative webinar to dive into the importance of planning ahead and mitigating risk with both new and existing buildings.  

Watch the webinar here: CRE & Climate Resiliency: How Babcock Ranch Survived Hurricane Ian  

Don’t delay preventative measures – contact our climate risk team to determine whether your property is in a flood zone. 

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