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Blog: Business Flood Resilience

This blog has been written by a member of the Newground Flood Team. 

As anyone who has ever flooded will know, recovering from a flood is very difficult, stressful and can take a long time. Like with households, flooding to a business can have big impacts, not just on the business owner’s life, but also on its employees and other stakeholders alike. The impacts on mental health and finance can be huge so it is important to get prepared and increase your resilience to flooding now whilst you can!

 

Did you know that as many as 40% of businesses do not reopen following a flood event?

By following a few of the simple steps outlined below, if your business was ever to flood, the impacts could be greatly reduced:

1. Check whether your business is at risk

Checking your business’ flood risk is the first step to increasing your resilience. The Environment Agency have a map which shows the potential extent of flooding to properties from rivers and the sea, surface water and reservoirs in England. By entering your postcode and selecting your property, you can find out who your Lead local Flood Authority (LLFA) is and click through to the map to learn more about your business’ flood risk. See The Flood Hub ‘Am I at risk?’ page for more information: www.thefloodhub.co.uk/Am-I-at-Risk .

 

2. Sign up for flood warnings

If you do find that your business is at risk of river and/or coastal flooding, the next thing you can do, if eligible, is sign up for the Environment Agency’s Flood Alerts and Warnings. This issues alerts and warnings to your telephone if a flood is expected and it is important that you understand what the 3 different warning levels mean. It is worth noting that the Food Warning Service does not issue warnings for surface water or reservoir flooding. Find out more about flood warnings and what they mean on our ‘Am I at Risk?’ page here.

If you find that you are ineligible for the Flood Warning Service, you can find an alternative trigger to put your flood plan into action. Several alternative triggers can be found via our resource on The Flood Hub here.

 

3. Business Flood Plan

If your business is located in an area which is at risk of flooding, it is a great idea to get a flood plan in place, as this enables you to respond to the alert or incident effectively. Once you have found a suitable trigger and it signals that a flood may happen, the plan can be used to take the necessary steps to protect your business and deploy your temporary resistance and resilience measures. Not only will this minimise damage and disruption, it will help reduce financial losses and maintain your business’ reputation by allowing for continuity – information on continuity can be found on The Flood Hub here. Advice on creating a flood plan can be found in our “Business Flood Planning Guide’ here.

A blank template for a flood plan can be downloaded here:

 

Whilst planning for flooding, you could also think about planning for other emergencies such as a pandemic virus outbreak, cyber-attack or extreme weather. This will help with overall business continuity and advice can be found on The Flood Hub here.

 

4. Business Flood Insurance

Households who are looking to acquire flood insurance can find it through the Flood Re scheme, however, this is not the case for businesses and flood cover can sometimes be more difficult to obtain. Even though it is sometimes harder to find flood insurance for your business, it is very important to make sure that your business and its contents are not under insured, especially if you have expensive equipment or machinery on site. In December 2016, BIBA launched a scheme to help businesses obtain flood insurance cover, visit their website to find out more: www.biba.org.uk/find-insurance .

You may be able to make flood insurance more accessible for your business by installing property flood resilience (PFR) measures. The insurance company may acknowledge that you are taking steps to minimise any disruption or damage that flooding can cause. Other options can include obtaining a tailored policy through a broker, flood excess insurance, parametric insurance or even to consider self-insuring.

Information can be found in our ‘Business Flood Insurance’ resource here.

 

5. Protecting your property

Installing property flood resilience measures (PFR) can reduce the impact of a flood event and the potential damage to your property. Flood resistance measures aim to prevent floodwater entering the property and resilience measures aim to reduce the damage caused by floodwater. Having a property flood resilience survey is advisable when protecting your property. For more information, click here.

 

Did you know that the average cost of flooding to a business is £82,000?

By carrying out the five simple steps above, you could reduce this amount considerably. On average, every £1 spent on PFR provides a £5 saving on future damages. So, through forward planning and being prepared, the impact a flood could have on your business can be reduced. Remember, flooding can happen all year round, not just in winter so get prepared as soon as you can!

All information in this blog can be found on www.thefloodhub.co.uk/business.