Stronger Storms and Floods Stress Need for Continuity Planning

The increased devastation by hurricanes in the United States has a connection to the heightened risk of unprecedented rainfall in the United Kingdom.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused an estimated $150 billion to $200 billion in damages to Texas and Florida in the United States, according to Moody’s Analytics.  On this side of the Atlantic, as we head into winter, the Met Office predicts a 1 in 3 chance of a new monthly rainfall record in at least one region. Last year, flood and storm damage cost the UK economy an estimated £1.3 billion, and this year is expected to be worse.

Floods and other natural catastrophes are increasing in number and intensity. Even though floods cannot be completely avoided, your organisation can begin preparing to reduce the potential damages. One of the best ways to do that is to develop a business continuity plan. While your plan will be unique to your organisation and its needs, it should at least involve the following practices:

  • Analyse your organisation. Review each room, floor and utility in your organisation. As part of this inspection, be aware of how to shut off your mains supply and record what valuable items, stock and fittings are stored in each room. You should have clear, concise records of what you noted during your inspection.
  • Assess the risks to your organisation. Conduct a thorough risk assessment and record any risks.
  • Develop a strategy to address each risk. For each identified risk, devise and outline at least one solution. For some potential risks, such as gaps in your walls and floors, you should address them now before the rain starts.
  • Develop your plans. In general, you should have a plan for what to do after a flood warning has been announced and what to do after a flood. This should involve continuity plans with suppliers and clients as well as clean-up procedures.
  • Review your plans. Review your plan at least annually and make adjustments, if necessary. In addition, review and revise your plan after a flood to ensure that it is as up to date as possible.

Business continuity planning is only half as effective without comprehensive flood insurance. For more information about how your organisation can protect itself from flood damage, contact Bollington's business insurance team to discuss your needs.