Of course, you should be aware that sinkholes are not limited to Florida. They can be found in about 20 percent of the U.S. in states such as Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.
Residents and businesses located in these areas were alerted to the financial and physical damage that sinkholes can cause when in early 2014, eight classic corvettes at the National Corvette Museum disappeared into a 30-foot deep hole within seconds. (You can watch the video here.)
Disaster events such as this one may seem mysterious and unpredictable, but there are some warning signs to look for to help protect your business and your employees.
Warning Signs of a Sinkhole
- Fresh cracks in the foundation of your building
- Doors and windows that fail to shut properly (that previously did so)
- Small cracks in the ground around your business
- Trees that start to lean
- Circular patches of wilting vegetation
- New ponds that form after it rains
What to Do If a Sinkhole Forms
- Call emergency officials immediately.
- Place colorful tape/rope around the ground depression to warn others of the sinkhole.
- Keep your employees away from the hole. Property owners can be held liable if someone is injured because of negligence.
- Have a disaster recovery plan in place to prepare for sinkholes (especially if they force you to set up temporary office space in a safer location).
Want to know how to prepare your business for similar unexpected disasters? Check out how to survive the longest day of the year.