flood risk infographic Sutcliffe & Co

Flood Season is here: Tips for natural disaster recovery

The Met Office recently announced storm names for 2018-19, meaning flood season is officially here and set to make waves across the UK once again – as the recent heavy rain in the west of Scotland has already demonstrated. In recent years, the threat of flooding has increased significantly and doesn’t appear to be leaving anytime soon. In fact, the Met Office predicted climate change could potentially make heavy downpours five times more likely by the end of the century.

Richard Barry, account executive, Sutcliffe & Co Insurance Brokers, commented, “Flooding is becoming more of the norm rather than a rare occurrence, especially across the three counties. So, we are encouraging businesses to assess their flood risks now and have action plans in place, if warranted, so they are prepared should a flood emergency happen.”

Some top tips to prepare your business for floods:

  • Create a flood plan: preparation is key – be sure that your business has a comprehensive flood plan that includes the following crucial considerations:
    • A list of all important contacts, such as building services, suppliers and evacuation contacts for your employees. In addition, consider using Floodline, which allows you to receive 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 organisation’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: apart from the flood itself, natural disasters can create a domino effect of other issues occurring within your business if you aren’t prepared:
    • 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 the floodwater, having backup plans for broken supply chains and potentially finding another location to continue key business operations during a flood.
  • Keep your employees in mind: make sure your employees know what to do in the event of a flood:
    • You can help prepare them by providing flood safety information in employee manuals and flood safety training. Similarly decide how the business will function if employees can’t get in due to flooded roads or rail tracks.

Richard continued: “As with all business risks, there is of course insurance that can help support your business if it is likely to be affected by flooding and we strongly recommend you discuss this with your insurance broker. However, at Sutcliffe & Co we advise our clients to have procedures and plans in place to mitigate any impact an emergency such as a flood can have, with the insurance as an added level of security for the business.”