According to the BBC website, Aileen, the first named storm this season, brought heavy rain and high winds on Tuesday night, affecting rail services and leaving thousands without power. The Met Office said gusts of 74mph hit Mumbles Head in south Wales, with southern parts of northern England and the north Midlands also badly affected.
Although predicting how the weather will behave over the coming months is a complex undertaking, the Met Office is predicting unprecedented levels of rainfall this winter. What’s more, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, 300,000 commercial properties could be at risk for flooding. Therefore, it’s essential that you protect your business.
Even though floods cannot be completely avoided, there are preventive measures that you can take now to minimise damage to your business:
- Sign up for alerts from the Environment Agency, the National Resources Wales or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to receive timely flood warning messages.
- Conduct a thorough risk assessment of the premises to identify potential at-risk areas. For any risks identified, devise and implement an appropriate solution.
- Purchase removable flood barriers to prevent flooding around doors and windows.
- Have non-return valves installed on both drains as well as inlet and outlet water pipes.
- Provide your employees with flood safety training, which should include how to shut off your building’s gas, electricity and water.
- Develop a flood contingency plan with your suppliers and clients.
- Create a comprehensive flood plan. While your plan will be unique to your business, it should at least include the following:
- A list of important contact information, including Floodline (0845 988 1188) and any additional flood warning systems, building services, suppliers and evacuation contacts.
- A map showing locations of supplies, protective materials and shut-off points.
- An outline of basic strategies for protecting property, ensuring health and safety, minimising business disruptions and facilitating recovery.
- Procedural checklists for staff to use during a flood.
Lastly, make sure to contact one of A-Plan’s business insurance teams to discuss how you can best protect your business.