With 5.2 million properties (or one in six) in the UK at risk of flooding, businesses need to take adequate preparation to minimise the risk to their premises and have an effective plan to stay in business if disaster strikes. In an average year, in England alone, Defra and the Environment Agency put the cost of flooding to businesses at £401 million.
As a business, it is law to have a Fire Management Plan in place, but not all businesses have a Flood Management Plan prepared, when the average cost incurred per flooded business was between £75,000 and £112,000 (Source: The Environment Agency). The Association of British Insurers found that claims for storm and flood damages in the UK doubled to over £6 billion from 1998 to 2003, compared to the previous five years. This figure is expected to triple by 2050.
Floodgate’s Top Tips to Minimise Flood Risk
Check The Risk Factor
The EA monitors the areas at risk of flooding and issues warnings to those areas where there is a danger of flooding. Simply register with the EA Floodline to receive advance warnings of flood.
Put a Flood Plan in Place
Business continuity planning can help minimise the impact of flooding on the business. Make sure you have a flood emergency response plan and an emergency response team. Like a Fire Warden, have a Flood Warden in place to take charge of showing staff where the plan is kept and a list of key contact numbers.Consider preparing a flood kit that can be stored where staff members can easily get to it if the property is flooded.
Are you Protected?
Check insurance policies to see if you are covered for business interruption, loss of profit and water damage. Recent reports show that only a small minority act to ensure they are adequately protected. Look at simple preventative steps you can take such as portable flood barriers.
Floodgate’s Top Tips to Deal with Flood Damage
Switch Off and Relocate
Relocate high-value stock, critical records and electronic equipment to upper floors. If it is safe to do so, move essential vehicles to higher ground. Disconnect all electrical appliances and shut off the gas supply to reduce the risk of fire.
Hold Back Hazardous Water
Floodwaters are often contaminated with biohazards (sewage, medical waste, animal waste and carcasses) or other hazardous materials (fuels, asbestos, farm chemicals, etc.). Flood-damaged buildings may also have damp areas where molds, mildews, and other organisms thrive. Close hand-operated valves on drain piping to prevent backflow through floor drains or plumbing fixtures. Check roof, floor or yard drains are clear.
Document Any Damage
Take pictures of the damage, both to the property and its contents for insurance claims. Notify insurers of the damage and schedule restorative works.