Flood Planning Tips For Businesses
Flood Planning Tips For Businesses
BioSweep North East recently attended North Tyneside Business Forum’s Business Safari at the Fish Quay in North Shields. It was a great opportunity to meet with the Environment Agency and local authorities to find out more about flood risk and flood defence plans in the local area.
While businesses often conduct fire risk assessments and define fire emergency evacuation plans, flood plans are often overlooked, despite the devastating and often irrecoverable damage that flooding can do to a business. Whether caused by climate change or building on flood plains, floods are becoming more frequent and more intense. In fact, the Environment Agency reports that businesses are more likely to be flooded than burnt down by a fire, and that the average cost of flood damage can be four times greater than fire damage. This could partly be attributed to the value of unrestorable contents, as flood water that is contaminated by sewage water can result in a large proportion of unsalvageable contents. In addition to the financial and physical damage flooding can cause, businesses should also consider the impact of loss of business, staff absence and even the affects that stress and trauma can have on mental health.
However, by preparing for flooding, business owners can help reduce the impact and cost damage, should a flood occur.
Find out whether your business is at risk
You can find out whether your business is at high risk of flooding by calling the Environment Agency’s 24-hour flood line on 0345 988 1188 or visiting www.gov.uk/flood.
Flood Preparations and Plans
Here are some practical tips for your business.
- Ensure a contact number for your business owner is available, even out of hours as floods can happen at any time of day, and any time of year.
- If you are in a high-risk area, sign up for flood alerts on the government website: gov.uk/check-flood-risk. You can receive them via email or via a mobile app.
- Create a flood plan to outline how your business will respond in a flood event. This will also make information, procedures and contact details easy to find at a time when people are likely to panic. There are several online tools an planners that can be downloaded from the government website.
- You can protect your contents by making copies of important information and storing it in a safe place, raising items above ground level, investing / installing flood protection and not storing valuable or important items or paperwork in the basement or at ground level.
- When making your flood plan, you should consider anything that is important to your business including IT equipment, furniture, vehicles and where you will park in a flood event, paper files / financial and accounting information, electrical items, databases and HR files.
If your business has been affected by flooding, please take care around flood water and do not enter unsafe areas to try and salvage contents. Never expose yourself to electricity and gas supplies which have been affected, or contaminated flood water which can cause serious health problems.
If you experience a flood, your insurer will appoint a damage management and restoration specialist such as BioSweep North East, who may:
- Carry out an initial assessment to assess the damage
- Report back to your insurer detailing the damage and necessary restoration works
- Collect your insurance excess if you have one
- Extract or remove residual water
- Install drying and dehumidification equipment
- Recover and restore your contents
- Clean, decontaminate and sanitise your property and / or contents
- Monitor the drying process
- Conduct electrical and / or gas repair works and safety tests
- Return your property back to its pre-incident condition
For more information on BioSweep North East’s water damage restoration services, please call a specialist on 0800 071 5757 or email email@example.com