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Covid-19 and its associated lockdowns have put many companies under increasing pressure. Unfortunately, however, the usual threats to businesses before the pandemic have not gone away – and flooding remains a major problem.
In such difficult circumstances, businesses now need to be more vigilant than ever before. We have teamed up with Polygon to provide a short guide to protecting your business premises from flooding.
Regular flooding seems to be here to stay, and many businesses in affected or at-risk areas are adapting their strategy to regard floods as an expected event each year. The impact of flooding can be devastating and being prepared is essential. Businesses may not be able to avoid floods entirely, but there are steps they can take to mitigate the impact.
Advance action will protect against variables like stock loss and equipment damage, as well as cushioning the emotional impact of being flooded. A clear strategy is essential if a business is to survive.
A simple check at the flood warning information service will help you understand your risk. You can register for alerts and learn about the changes to sea and river that are indicators of a flood – for example, business owners along the River Severn in Shropshire know that high volumes of rain in the Welsh hills mean a strong possibility of flood.
As well as keeping your ear to the ground, you can register for flood warnings. The Environment Agency offers a 24-hour free service that contacts businesses and households to warn of flooding. You can sign up on the website, or by phoning 08459881188.
A documented flood plan means clarity and a set course of action – both invaluable in a crisis. Your plan will include things like critical contacts, preventative actions and details like a map of your business premises so you know how to shut off all services. Talk through this plan with each member of your team.
Sample plan for immediate action:
If you know you are in an area prone to flooding, there are several preventative measures you can take.
This can be a challenge for many people in flood-prone areas. Many small business owners struggle to get adequate buildings and contents insurance, as well as business interruption insurance. Business interruption insurance will cover things like rehoming your business whilst repairs are being made, as well as any increased costs from working in an alternative location.
Experiencing a flood is a challenging time, and one that can have long-reaching impacts. Whether or not you live in a flood-prone area, it is essential to have a solid flood plan that your whole team understands and can implement. For those living in areas where flooding is frequent, it’s also essential to carry out as much preventative work as possible and to use both local knowledge and national resources to ensure you have maximum pre-warning. Hopefully the five steps highlighted above have given you a strong foundation to build on as you prepare your flood defences for the future.
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