On Memorial Day weekend in 1981, a year after John Mackey, the founder of Whole Foods Market, opened his first store in Austin Texas, the nearby creek flooded parts of the city, including the first Whole Foods Market. Obviously, this wasn’t the demise of the company, but the first store was destroyed. With the efforts of volunteers and patrons, eventually it reopened. Mackey went on to diversify his company which ended up becoming a huge success, and, of course, he purchased flood insurance.
Prudent business owners in flood prone areas are wise to take the necessary steps to mitigate flood risk as part of their long-term planning strategy.
Unlike Whole Foods Market, many businesses do not recover from such circumstances. In fact, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) states that nationally, 40% of businesses do not reopen after a disaster. For those who do reopen, what can they do to protect them from flooding, including less severe, more frequent events?