The unrelenting wet weather of 2012 is estimated to have cost the UK economy almost £600 million, according to a report by the Environment Agency (EA).
In 2012 there was a flood one out of every five days, affecting more than 7,000 properties.
Businesses lost £200 million, which includes £84 million in property damage. Overall property damage cost the economy £277 million, while indirect costs to business such as disruption and staff absence totalled £33 million. General transport and utility interruption damages topped £82 million.
On average, every business affected by flooding lost £60,000, although flood defences protected 200,000 properties worth an estimated £1.7 billion to the UK economy.
Because 175,000 businesses in England and Wales are at risk of flooding, EA officials are urging business owners to sign up to receive flood warnings and bolster their flood disaster plans to remain prepared.
Remember that it is impossible to completely flood-proof a property, and that limiting flood damage means constantly assessing and revising your business’ flood disaster plan.
If your business is located in a flood-prone area, the best defence against flood damage is preparation. Purchase sandbags to have on hand when the inevitable strikes. Install automatic flood-proof doors and windows. Landscape your business’ grounds to divert water away from your property. Adjusting the layout of your commercial property can often be the most successful way to curtail flood damage.
If damage from groundwater flooding is inevitable, purchase a pump to help keep groundwater out. But be careful—pumps can cause even more trouble if used incorrectly. Pumping from one place can cause flooding elsewhere. Consult your local EA office for information on how and where to divert floodwater from your business with a pump.
Above all, share your flood disaster plan with your employees to encourage preparedness.