Is your commercial building making preparations for El Nino?

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Is your commercial building making preparations for El Nino?

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With the media echoing concerns of a wet winter reminiscent of the ‘96-‘97 and ‘83 winters, West Coast property managers are beginning to make preparations for EL Nino.

Having endured both of these El-Ninos and other various weather patterns over our 89 year history, Able Services has three suggestions to help California commercial buildings prepare for a very wet winter.

  1. Planning and Procedures

Have a staff meeting to discuss El Nino and the possible consequences for your facility. Make a plan for what to do in an emergency flooding situation. Ask your staff, “how are we being proactive?”

  • Do we have floor mats, umbrella casings, and wet floor signs?
  • Has our list of emergency contacts been updated? Does everyone have access?
  • Are we aware of possible flooding areas?
  • Is there a correct way to turn off electrical hazards in flooding zones?
  • During a storm, what are staff procedures?
  • Do we have a flood preparation action plan?


  1. Visual Inspections and Removal of Obvious Debris

These inspections should be conducted on a regular basis throughout the calendar year to ensure there is no blockage and drains are adequately maintained.

  • Inspect all storm water and roof drains on site, as well as adjacent sites, clean all debris inside drain and clear drain cover.
  • Inspect building storm drain pipes (cast iron) for cracks and leaks.
  • Check all storm water pumps for correct operation and remove debris from pump strainers.
  • Identify possible electrical hazards in flooding zones, and correct way to turn off the power.
  • Test to make sure there is no leaking, especially in areas where electrical components are in a close vicinity.
  • Visually inspect window seals.


  1. Emergency Equipment Inspection and Preparation

Having equipment isn’t enough. Some of the following items must be serviced, may require fuel and also proper lubrication.

  • Wet Vacs
  • Backup Generators
  • Emergency Sump Pumps
  • Rain Gear for Employees


The best way to be prepared is to be proactive and communicate early. Being prepared may save you money if the predictions turn out to be accurate.


Do you have any more ideas or suggestions?

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