How to keep your business afloat when floods strike

The threat of floods has increased significantly in recent years, and these rough waters don’t appear to be leaving us anytime soon.

According to The Environment Agency, seven of the UK’s top 10 wettest years in history have occurred since 1998, and The Met Office predict that climate change could potentially make heavy downpours five times more likely by the end of the century.

So, what can you do to ensure that when a disaster strikes in the form of floods, your business operations continue with as little disruption as possible?

Create a flood plan

Preparation is key, so ensure your business has a comprehensive flood plan that includes the following:

  • A list of important contacts, such as building services, suppliers and evacuation contacts for your employees. You could also consider signing up to ‘Floodline’, which will provide you with flood warnings from the government when they arise.
  • A detailed map that highlights the location of important property, protective materials and service shut-off points.
  • An outline of basic strategies for protecting your business’s property, keeping your employees safe, preventing business disruption and establishing effective recovery efforts.
  • Checklists of procedures for staff to follow during a flood.

Assess your risks

Natural disasters can create a domino effect on other issues occurring within your business. So, implement mitigation measures to ensure that additional risks are under control during a flood. This could include locking windows and doors, making sure any workplace chemicals, oils or other hazardous substances are stored safely and will not contaminate floodwater, having backup plans for broken supply chains and potentially finding another location to continue key business operations during a flood.

Talk to your employees

Make sure your staff know what to do in the event of a flood. You can help by providing flood safety training and giving information in employee manuals.

Have the right insurance

Give yourself peace of mind by ensuring you have the right insurance cover in place. A Commercial Combined insurance policy will include Commercial Property insurance and Business Interruption insurance.

  • Commercial Property insurance provides one of two basic levels of cover: all risks, and named or defined perils. Make certain you know what perils are covered under your current policy, and what is excluded. Often an increased flood excess may apply, and separate cover can be arranged to provide ground up cover.
  • Business Interruption insurance will compensate you for loss of income if you have to vacate your premises. It will also compensate for the gross profits that would have been earned had the flood not occurred, as well as cover operating expenses and the increased cost of working in a temporary location.

Pound Gates can develop a bespoke insurance programme to protect you for such risks and assist with business planning and establishing policies to mitigate them. For more information call the team on 01473 346046.