Discover 20 invaluable tips for storm or flood loss recovery
When your business has experienced a flood or storm, it’s often difficult to know what you need to do, and also what you shouldn’t do, in order to minimise the loss and reduce the risk to your business.
A team of Chartered Loss Adjusters at Lorega, our Loss Recovery partner, has put together 20 tips for SMEs to help you mitigate loss after a flood or storm disaster.
Have a read below and apply them to your situation as necessary – we hope they will help you.
20 tips from Chartered Loss Adjusters
1 Check your utilities, such as electricity, gas and water, are still operating. If not, contact the utility company and obtain an estimate of reinstatement of supply.
2 If services are still on, check to see if they present a threat. If, for example, your property is flooded, should the power be turned off at the mains to prevent short-circuits and a possible fire?
3 Act as if you’re uninsured. Make urgent decisions on the basis of what is best for the business and critical for business survival, not on the basis of what insurers may perhaps want.
4 Take photographs of the damage – the more the better. This will help in demonstrating the extent of damage for an insurance claim down the line.
5 If you can, move undamaged stock and equipment higher up, out of reach of potential rising flood water. If you’re in a two-storey building, move whatever possible from the ground floor to the first floor.
6 Move undamaged goods/stock away from damaged goods/stock, as this will help to prevent contamination.
7 If your stock is perishable, such as foodstuff or similar, and it has been saturated, try to dispose of it before it becomes a health hazard. Ensure it is correctly recorded and photographed as it is disposed of.
8 If you’re uncertain regarding your position on the possible health risks of damaged stock/goods, and whether it is salvageable or not, seek immediate advice from the local Environmental Health officer. They will inspect and issue certificates for condemned goods. You can find your local Environmental Health Officer here.
9 Take whatever necessary immediate measures are possible for mopping up. Do not wait for someone to give permission!
10 Make sure there is plenty of ventilation to the premises, as this can help to prevent possible mould growth.
11 Contact specialist damage management drying and cleaning companies to attend as soon as possible if deemed necessary. They will assist with pumping out water and drying your premises. Details can be obtained from the British Damage Management Association (BDMA) – 01858 414278.
12 Do not dispose of anything that may be salvageable. Try to store this separately, and do obtain assistance from a specialist damage management company.
13 If your premises will be left unattended, make sure it’s secured to prevent further loss or damage.
14 If you’re a tenant, contact your landlord, via the managing agent if appropriate, as soon as possible to advise of the position and request they take necessary immediate action. You cannot start to recover your business until the building you trade from has been dried and repaired.
15 Try to relocate to suitable local alternative premises if your premises is uninhabitable. You will then be able to continue temporary trading from these.
16 If possible, reallocate internal resources from unaffected areas of the business. This may help you to maintain future sales.
17 Contact customers to advise them of the position, especially where immediate supply of promised orders is affected and now no longer possible. You should seek to reassure them for a longer-term position.
18 Prioritise those customers key to business, as initial recovery of business proceeds.
19 Create a separate cost code in the accounts specific to the flood/storm damage and allocate all related expenditure to this code. This will make it easier to track costs later when the insurance claim is being agreed. This is especially important for any additional expenditure incurred to maintain the business.
20 Contact your insurance broker as soon as possible. They will be able to either provide advice or point you in the right direction for specialist advice.
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