What is flood planning?
Around the globe we are experiencing extreme changes to our climate and because of this, we are likely to see differences in the intensity and frequency of precipitation. The United Nations even believe that the UK will experience about 10% more rainfall on average per year by 2100. This means that it is becoming increasingly more important for businesses to have procedures in place to protect themselves against weather related natural disasters like flooding, and to be able to recover quickly should an event occur
Some people regard flooding as an unforeseeable event, and this is often true, but creating a plan to be ready in case a flood does occur, will help you to minimise disruption, reduce any business interruptions and enable you to recover quickly. If you are in an area prone to flooding, changing operations, or moving stock and equipment etc, may protect you from significant losses.
We’re sharing some tips based on information from one of our insurer partners, Travelers, ranging from no cost to higher cost, so no matter what your budget, you can implement some protective measures to help your business both before and after a flooding event.
1. Set up notifications for flood warnings
Be aware of when a flood is going to occur. This could be as simple as monitoring the weather forecast, setting up notifications for flood warnings or by monitoring flood maps like the one that can be found
2. Make a Flood Plan
Flood plans are written procedures that all employees are trained on. A flood plan could include things like identifying evacuation points and locations where vehicles and computers could be moved to, above flood level. Consider the height at which goods are fixed, stored, or displayed. The higher above flood level this is, the less chance that goods will be damaged. You should also be aware of where you turn off your electricity and gas supply.
Protecting documents and systems is essential, so ensuring these would be in safe locations in the event of a flood is important. Access to hard copies of financial and insurance documents, working documents such as designs and specifications, along with staff, customer, and supplier databases, will be vital in helping to get your business back to normal operations as quickly as possible.
3. Keep a list of useful contact numbers
In the event of a flood, you will most likely have to contact several organisations to help you get back to business. Therefore, it is useful to keep a list of useful contact numbers such as your local council, emergency services and your insurance company.
Mid Cost Tips
4. Create an emergency flood kit
Torches with spare batteries, wind up radios, warm and waterproof clothing, blankets and first aid kits could all be useful during heavy floods and other emergencies.
5. Water removal
During a flood, or after waters have subsided, it is vital that water is removed from the premises as quickly as possible. Purchasing a water pump can help with this. Installing backwater valves into your toilets and drains can help to keep sewage in the sewer-system during heavy rainfall. Purchasing sandbags or plastic covers could also be beneficial.
6. Preventing electrical damage
To prevent electrical damage to your property, which can incur high costs to repair, you could consider raising electrical machinery and electrical sockets above the expected flood level.
7. Permanently moving valuable items
Making permanent amendments to the positioning of your computer servers, archive stores and stock could help you avoid the costs of replacing them, should a flood occur. This could mean moving them from the basement to the ground floor, or moving them on to pallets or shelves etc.
8. Regular maintenance
Maintaining your drains along with cleaning your gullies regularly, especially during the autumn when fallen leaves can cause blockages, can help to mitigate the risk or effect of a flood.
Higher Costing Tips
9. Permanently moving high-cost equipment
Moving larger systems such as air-conditioning or heating systems away from basements or the ground floor can help to avoid the higher costs that you would incur to replace them.
10. Installing emergency systems
Installing drainage, a sump and a sump pump, will help to remove water from the property as quickly as possible. Installing other systems such as an emergency power generator could also be useful if you have a mains power outage due to flooding.
With these tips in mind, it is worth considering the value that they can bring to your business, or what would be lost if certain measures were not put in place.
We're here to help
Forming a comprehensive flood prevention plan should make up part of your broader risk management strategy. This should be supported with a comprehensive insurance solution, to ensure you weather the storm, should a flood occur!
As a team of experienced commercial brokers, we can support your business with impartial, honest advice to arrive at a comprehensive insurance programme which helps to ensure business longevity and prosperity.
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