Preparing for flood risks

Safeguarding Your Business from the Damage of Floods

As our winters become wetter and more extreme, the risk of floods increases. So it is important to prepare your property for possible flooding and ensure your business can continue to run smoothly.

Two-thirds of people at risk of flooding are unaware of the situation, says the government, as it warned that parts of the UK could experience severe flooding this winter.

Despite much of the UK remaining in drought after experiencing its highest-ever recorded temperatures this summer, the Met Office has said that the chance of wet and windy weather increases as we go through the season, with a high chance of flooding in February 2023. They explained that the end-of-winter floods would result from the same global weather patterns that caused flooding in February 2022, when storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin caused flooding which damaged hundreds of homes.

Since 1998 we have seen six of the ten wettest years on record. In England and Wales alone, more than 5 million properties—as many as 1 in 6—are at risk of flooding. One in 14 Scottish properties and 1 in 20 Northern Ireland properties are also at risk. With these odds, there is a good chance that one of these properties at risk belongs to your business.

Caroline Douglass, Executive Director of Flooding at the Environment Agency, said: “Climate change is happening now. We’re seeing more extreme weather – in this year alone with three named storms in a week, record-breaking temperatures and drought declared across large parts of the country. The message is clear – households risk ignoring the danger of flooding at their own peril. Anyone can go online to check if they are at risk, sign up for Environment Agency warnings, and, most importantly, know what you need to do if flooding hits.”

The Environment Agency estimates that with proper flood preparation, most businesses can save 20 to 90 per cent on the cost of lost stock or damage due to flooding. It is impossible to completely flood-proof your property, but flood preparation can lower your business’ risk of damage and reduce business interruptions.

Are You at Risk of Flooding?

Begin your preparation by consulting your area’s flood risk map. The Environment Agency (EA) publishes maps for England, Wales and Scotland. The EA makes three types of maps, each addressing a different flooding hazard: surface water, reservoirs, and rivers and the sea. Northern Ireland’s flood risk maps can be found here. For areas of high flood risk, the EA offers Floodline Warnings Direct, a free service that provides flood warnings via telephone, mobile, email and text message. Sign up for flood warnings here.

If your area is at high risk of flooding, listen to the radio or television for more information. Even if you feel you are in an area with a low risk of flooding, be aware that anywhere it rains, flash flooding can occur.

Prepare Your Business Against Flood Damage

Once you have assessed your risk, it is time to prepare your business accordingly. Here are our tips on preparing a thorough flood plan to help your moving or storage business stay afloat during flooding…

Fortify your property against flood damage by buying and installing physical flood prevention measures and products. Such as flood boards and non-return valves for drains and water pipes.

Install high shelving where you can store items, and raise electrical sockets, fuse boxes and wiring at least 1.5 metres from the floor.

Create a flood plan for your business. A flood plan is a written document outlining how your business will respond to a flood.

Your plan will outline how your business will respond to floods. It should include important contact information, including the Floodline telephone number (0845 988 1188), your insurers details and any additional flood warning systems, building services, suppliers and evacuation contacts and procedural checklists for staff to use during a flood.

Make sure you store your business’ flood plan in an easily accessible location—everyone should know where it is at all times.

If you already have a flood plan, it’s a important to review and update your plan annually.

Flood risks and procedures can change, so make sure your business is prepared.


Staying Prepared

Flood insurance is the ultimate preparation for your business. Check your commercial cover to make sure you are covered for flood damage. Flooding poses a substantial—but not ruinous—threat to UK businesses.

The insurance professionals at Reason Global Insurance Limited are poised to help fortify your property and protect your fleets and customers’ possessions from flood. Rely on us to provide more flood-preparation materials and help keep your business from going under.

For more details on any of our insurance policies, please give us a call.