How to Prepare your Business for Flooding

As your insurance broker our business focus is keeping you in business. We have helped our clients stay afloat when extreme weather events have damaged their business.

With recent years having severe extremes of weather and 2020 being classed as the fifth wettest winter on record*, here’s some tips to help you review your flood defences in case 2023 is another wet winter.

Up Arrow

Emergency management

It is important to make sure that your staff know the business continuity plan should a flood happen. They also need to understand their role in it. it is a good idea to periodically review the flood plan and keep a copy of the plan offsite at an out of risk location.

Managing the Emergency

  • Close the business to avoid people becoming trapped. Your location may be safe, but access roads may become submerged
  • If staff/customers become trapped in the premises, they will need food, drink, first aid, mobile phones and a battery powered radio
  • Remove company vehicles to a safer location
  • Gas/water/electricity terminals may need to be switched off
  • Obtain emergency lighting and small generators
  • Remove valuable stock and contents that might be contaminated by flood water
  • Contact customers and suppliers to keep them informed as the situation progresses
  • Keep a note in your mobile phone of insurance claims helpline numbers, as well as other useful emergency phone numbers including local authorities, gas and electricity

Up Arrow

Reducing the risk of flooding

It is unlikely that businesses at risk can relocate to safer areas. To limit damage and improve the speed of business recovery, consider the following actions  and decide. which are practical for your business:

  • Install demountable purpose made flood barriers or boards to doors and other openings
  • Easy access to install automatic flood proof air bricks or provide specially designed air brick covers to prevent water ingress
  • Fit non-return valves or backflow valves to drainage systems
  • Install resilient flooring
  • Raise electrical fuse boxes, sockets, controls and wiring above likely flood levels
  • Locate key stock and contents (including IT and Telecoms equipment) at a higher level. Ensure data and software is backed up regularly and stored offsite – in a place not likely to be affected by the same event
  • Anchor fuel and other liquid storage tanks to prevent them floating

Up Arrow

Risk recovery following a flood

Your business interruption insurance cover will take care of your lost income. You can help your business recovery with these basic steps:

  • Keep a record of equipment and contents to speed up the purchase of replacements
  • Agree alternative premises for staff and storage if necessary
  • Maintain contact lists including commercial estate agencies (in case temporary relocation is necessary) as well as builders, contractors, IT specialists etc, so that
  • Keep staff informed of the situation
  • Regularly update major customers and suppliers by whatever method suits the business. An email distribution list may be helpful if there are many people to keep informed (making sure it is GDPR compliant)
  • Maintain a log to note all actions taken and expenses incurred. This can assist with your insurance claim.

Up Arrow

About the author

Alison Wild Bcom Hons MAAT MATT Taxation Technician Commercial Tax Pensions Insurance And Marketing Specialist AuthorAlison Wild BCom (Hons), MAAT, MATT, Taxation Technician is a highly respected industry professional who has been working with and advising SMEs in areas including tax, pensions, insurance and marketing for over 25 years. She is a member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and Association of Tax Technicians (ATT) and also has over 20 years' experience as a residential landlord.