Resources for Businesses

If your business is located near a river, even a small one, be prepared for a catastrophic event such as a flood or river bank erosion that could affect your buildings and parking lots.
River-smart businesses understand basic river science—how rivers work and respond to weather and human-made changes. They know what to do and what not to do in and near the river. They take precautions to avoid putting themselves at risk during a flood, and are ready in case of an unavoidable disaster.
On this page we have gathered a few useful links to help businesses become river-smart, and know what do to before, during, and after a flood.

Before the Flood

  • First, understand how rivers work. River Science: What is it? Note that we are currently updating all of our fact sheets, check again soon!
  • Know your flood risk. explains about high risk areas and how to understand flood maps.
  • Learn what to do if a flood is predicted. Your local community is responsible for making and announcing flood evacuation decisions. Find out now if there is an emergency management plan or evacuation plan in your community.
  • Prepare your business in the event of a flood:  Flood preparedness checklist for business owners is a list prepared by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) of what to check, such as insurance coverages, and what to prepare, such as emergency communication plans as well as what to store where.
  • Flood-proof your building to avoid or reduce flood damage:  Wet and Dry Floodproofing for Business Information sheet from Vermont's Agency of Commerce & Community Development to help businesses weather the next storm. 
  • Purchase flood insurance. In most cases, it takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it's important to buy insurance before the storm approaches and the floodwaters start to rise. A good source is the National Flood Insurance Program Commercial Coverage

During a Flood

Protect yourself and you business: See a list of what you can do to stay safe during a flood


After the Flood

  • If you have purchased flood insurance, file a claim to recover more quickly.
  • You can also get a loan from the Small Business Administration, who provides Emergency Preparedness – Disaster Assistance and dispenses loans to get qualified businesses up and running again after a flood:
    • Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loans
      Provides funds to eligible small businesses to meet their ordinary and necessary operating expenses that they were unable to meet due to an essential employee being "called-up" to active duty in their role as a military reservist.
    • Economic Injury Loans
      If your small business or private, nonprofit organization has suffered economic injury, regardless of physical damage, and is located in a declared disaster area, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
    • Disaster Assistance Loans
      SBA provides low interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery & equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster.