Floods can be disastrous for any business, destroying goods, equipment, stock and much more. While they can sometimes be predicted, they often arise with little warning. The fickle nature of UK weather only exacerbates the unpredictability of floods, and with so many areas susceptible to flooding, one unexpected severe storm can trigger widespread damage.
In England and Wales alone, more than 5 million properties—as many as 1 in 6—are at risk of flooding. One in 14 Scottish properties and 1 in 20 Northern Ireland properties are also at risk. With these odds, there is a good chance that one of these properties at risk belongs to you.
It is impossible to completely flood-proof your business, so flood preparation is a must. Keep your business afloat with solid preparation and a thorough flood plan that outlines how your business will respond to a flood.
Begin preparing your business for flooding by assessing the flood risk in your area. The Environment Agency publishes flood risk maps for England, Wales and Scotland, available at www.environment-agency.gov.uk. Find Northern Ireland’s flood risk maps at www.dardni.gov.uk/strategic-flood-map-ni, published by the Rivers Agency and the Department of the Environment.
After assessing your business’ risks, create your flood plan. Store it in an easily accessible location—everyone should know where it is at all times. All flood plans should include the following:
• Contact information for building, supplier and evacuation services and flood warning systems like Floodline (0845 988 1188)
• A map showing supplies, protective materials and shut-off points
• An outline of basic strategies for protecting property, ensuring health and safety, minimising disruption and facilitating recovery
• Procedural checklists for employees to use during a flood
Review and update your plan annually. Flood risks and procedures can change, so make sure your business is prepared. But remember that even if you are prepared, flood damage can still occur. Make sure you and your employees know what to do after a flood, including how to clean up and who to contact.
Bollington Insurance has the resources to help you create and implement a flood plan, along with additional advice and reminders to help ensure that your business is prepared both before and after a flood.