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What is a Flood Response Team, and What Do They Do?

July 12, 2023
Flood Response Team

Australia is a land of extremes when it comes to weather events. An area of the country could be experiencing drought and then suddenly be under threat of flooding when heavy rains roll in. Extreme weather conditions mean the weather can be unpredictable, so being prepared for all emergencies in the workplace is a necessity.

Commercial and industrial sites are at risk of flooding during periods of continuous heavy rain, especially if they are located near a river, the coast or even a dam. The most catastrophic floods occur when a river breaks its banks, as a deluge of water suddenly swamps the surrounding area.

While heavy rain is most likely to be the cause of a flood in the workplace, other flooding events can occur. For example, if a site has huge water tanks that rupture, this will rapidly flood the workspace. Another concern is flooding in confined spaces, particularly if these spaces are located below ground level, such as a mine shaft. A flood response team will need to be on hand to ensure everyone gets to safety.

Industrial and commercial operations need to be prepared in the event a flash flood occurs. Ideally, this will never eventuate, but it’s always a distinct possibility with Australia’s unpredictable weather events. Everyone who works on the site should have some training in what to do and what not to do if a flood occurs. There also needs to be a flood emergency and evacuation plan in place.

Industrial and commercial enterprises really need to have an emergency response team readily available, a first response service that will act quickly when a flood takes place. Read on the learn more about a flood response team and what they do.

What is a Flood Response Team?

A flood response team is a group of highly-trained individuals whose primary role is to be the first response service when a flood occurs. An emergency response team is usually trained to handle a number of different emergency situations along with flooding, such as fire, workplace accidents, managing toxic hazards, emergencies in confined spaces and more.

While everyone in the workplace should have some training in responding to a flood event, management and employees will not be trained first responders or experts in an emergency situation. A trained emergency response team will make all the difference, as this is exactly what they’ve been drilled to do.

Precious time will be saved as the team doesn’t need to think about how to control or respond to a flood. They already know what to do and what’s expected of them, and in many scenarios, this could prove the difference in saving lives.

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What do Flood Response Teams Do?

The top priority when a flood occurs is to make sure everyone gets to a place of safety. Saving lives is paramount. The protection of structures, materials and equipment is important too, but will always be secondary to the safety of people. If a flood is imminent or already sweeping through an industrial site, your flood response team will leap into action, take charge of the situation, organise evacuation procedures and get everyone out of harm’s way as rapidly as possible.

There are other things to consider when flooding occurs. The potential for being swept away in flood waters and drowning is just one danger to human life. On industrial sites, there are also electrical hazards. We all know that water and electricity don’t mix, so there is also the threat of electrocution when floodwaters rise.Your flood response team is trained to respond to a variety of potential hazards during a flood and it’s this knowledge and training, coupled with quick action, that will save lives.

Once everyone is accounted for and in a safe place, your first response service will then be able to focus on minimising damage from rising floodwaters. An essential part of this procedure will be sandbagging to prevent water from entering certain locations on the premises. Sandbagging is one of the quickest and most effective methods for reducing damage to structures, equipment and materials, as well as increasing location safety.

Natural disaster events like flooding don’t only affect the workplace, but also the surrounding areas. Not only will your flood response unit be responsible for protecting your industrial site, but the team will also look after visitors and members of the general public.

Responding to a flood emergency isn’t the only thing an emergency response team does. Minimising the effects of a flood is essential and this comes through planning for emergency situations, performing risk assessments, testing emergency procedures to improve response times and outcomes, monitoring workplace health and safety, advising employees on what to do in a flood emergency and much more.

A trained and qualified flood response team provides many crucial services and every industrial site should have a team on hand, ready to deploy into action.

How Are Flood Response Teams Trained?

A flood response team is a group of individuals that are highly trained in all aspects of emergency and flood response. As the first few minutes of any emergency can be crucial to the outcome, the ability to initiate a rapid response is critical in the training. Team members are drilled and trained to the point where they instinctively know what to do under any circumstances and the correct response becomes automatic. This saves valuable time as first responders don’t have to spend time evaluating what to do next.

Qualified members of a first response service go through certified training that includes modules that cover flood risk management, preparedness, emergency evacuation procedures, first aid, protection measures for structures and property, recovery procedures following a flood event and much more.

Teams are also trained in how to formulate an effective and efficient flood prevention and management plan. Preparation is key in being able to readily control an emergency, reducing or eliminating potential hazards, coming up with solutions to reduce damage caused by a flood should one occur and preparing Safe Work Method Statements that are site-specific.

Once a flood response unit has been fully trained in all facets of emergency response and is certified, training does not end there. It was mentioned in the previous section that ongoing testing of emergency procedures regularly takes place. Not only does this testing serve to improve and streamline the emergency response of the team, but it also keeps team members sharp and ready for action at all times.

Having a team of highly-trained first responders is essential for all industrial companies in Australia.

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Where to Hire Flood Response Teams

If you operate a commercial or industrial enterprise, there is a chance that your operation will be at risk of flooding at some point. To mitigate the risk and to potentially save lives and minimise damage in the event that a flood does occur, you’ll want to hire a dedicated flood response team. Hopefully, a flood never happens, but having a trained and qualified team of first responders on hand will give you peace of mind, as well as imparting a sense of security to your employees, visitors and the surrounding community.

SSTC is a company that offers far more than security or traffic control services. We have teams of highly-trained emergency responders ready to be deployed via our Industrial Services network. Get in touch with SSTC today and take a major step toward protecting and safeguarding your business.

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