How to prepare business premises for a flood
In order to prepare your business premises for flooding, there are three key steps you should take. Firstly, you need to understand the flood risk to your building. If a flood risk is present, you should sign up for flood warnings to ensure you find out as early as possible if there is risk of flooding at your business location. Finally, protect your property to ensure that flooding causes minimal damage. This will mean you can operate and stay in business even after a flood event.
Please select a section below:
Understand your flood risk
It is essential that you understand the flood risk to your business, and if there is a significant risk of flooding, take the appropriate measures to protect your property.
- Find out your flood risk
- If your business is at risk, make a flood plan
- If your business is at risk, sign up for EA Flood Warnings by phone/text and check the online flood warnings regularly. Sign up for free text or email alerts for your business from the EA or SEPA if there is a risk of flooding to your business. For England and Wales flood alerts, please click here. For flood alerts in Scotland, please click here. If you prefer to sign up by phone (rather than online), please call Floodline on 0345 988 1188.
- Knowyourfloodrisk.co.uk have produced this additional guide on how to protect your business.
Receive free flood warnings
Real-time flood warnings can be found online for England, Wales and Scotland. These highlight the locations of each warning, the water course that is affected and the severity of the warning at each location. There are three severity levels for these alerts:
This is the lowest level. Simply check your business’ flood plan / flood kit and continue to monitor for further warnings.
The second level of the online flood warning system. Upon receiving this warning in your area, you should ensure all defences are in place on the property and move any valuables to a safe place where they will not be affected by floodwater.
- Severe Warning
If a severe warning has been placed on your business, there is a significant threat to human life. In this circumstance, it is advised that you evacuate the property immediately and move to higher ground. Remember you can call 999 if there is any danger to human life.
Protect your business
- Make sure that you have full flood cover when you buy your buildings/contents insurance.
- Keep on top of basic maintenance work that keeps the property watertight
Repair the seals between your window and door frames and brickwork so there are no gaps. Repoint the external brickwork, if this is damaged. Age often leads to cracks, sections dropping away and greater porosity. Repointing corrects these defects.
- Consider putting in flood resistance measures or flood resilience measures.
For more information on how to make a home flood resilient, please see the video below. Similar principles will apply to a business property.
Flood forums can offer a wide range of additional advice and support:
- National Flood Forum – independent charity organisation that works alongside flood affected communities nationally within the UK, to deal with the impacts and challenges of flooding
- Scottish Flood Forum – A network of community flood resilience groups, providing information, training and support for flood-affected communities in Scotland.
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