Posted on: 20 November 2014

Wise businesses don’t assume that they are immune to the effects of the rain. They know the risks, they prepare for the worst, and if flooding does happen, they know how to get back up and running as quickly as possible.

Top tips for before a storm

1. Check your gutters and make sure all drains are free from debris. Have the roof assessed by a qualified professional to make sure it can cope with torrential rain and heavy winds.
2. Ensure any loose objects that could be blown away are safely indoors, such as:

- open signage on the outside of your building
- stock outside your shop front
- ladders on your van.

3. Look at where you store valuable equipment or perishable stock. Consider installing a proprietary flood alarm or water leak alarm to vital or vulnerable areas such as near computers and telecoms equipment. Store lower value and less important goods and equipment on lower levels.
4. Write a flood plan and know where and how to cut off utility supplies.
5. Set up contingency plans with clients and suppliers in case you are unable to trade.
6. Test your IT back up systems to make sure they work and plan evacuation procedures.
7. Keep in the know by checking the Environment Agency’s flood warnings and flood alerts, or sign up for free flood warnings texts or emails.
8. Make sure your doors and windows have sturdy, secure fastenings and tighten any that are loose.
9. Park your business van or car in a garage if available. If this isn’t possible move it away from buildings, trees, walls and fences that could potentially cause damage.
10. Secure any fences and posts within the business boundary.
11. Keep copies of important documents, such as your business insurance documents, in a safe place.

Top tips for during the storm

1. Turn off all utilities if water is threatening to enter your business property. Do not touch sources of electricity.
2. If necessary, implement your flood plan, secure your business premises and evacuate your staff and customers if told to do so.
3. If you smell a gas leak or if overhead electricity lines become damaged, contact National Grid.
4. If possible, notify your customers and suppliers that the heavy rain has affected you. Ask for their patience while you deal with it.

Top tips for after a flood

1. It is dangerous to enter a flood damaged building as it could be structurally damaged or have a live or damaged electricity supply. There may also be some contamination that could present a health hazard.
2. Call your insurer as soon as possible. Keep a record of all your actions, take photos or videos and keep details of expenses and copies of relevant receipts. Keep in close contact with your insurance company.
3. Having spoken to your insurer, contact the local authorities and utility companies for advice and support.
4. If you need help pumping water out of your premises, contact the local fire and rescue service. The authorities need to be notified if you need to pump water into rivers, ditches, public sewers or street drains.
5. If you drove your vehicle through deep water, test its brakes and get it serviced.
6. Only turn utilities back on once they have been checked by a qualified technician.
7. Let your customers and other stakeholders know that you’re ok and give them a date for when you expect to be back to business as usual.
8. Avoid touching wires or cables that have been damaged.


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