Flooding In Your Business

ceiling water removal

Flooding in your business could destroy your livelihood, family and possessions.

Flooding is rapid when it happens and can occur many miles away from the down pour or the the source. The effects of flood are undoubtably devastating. You often see the TV images of floods that have happened in recent years across the UK. The most recent floods include Gloucestershire, Lake District and York to name a few recent flood locations. But thankfully there are some precautions you can take to mitigate the risk.

Not to scare but here are some of the facts about flooding in the UK.

Is your home at risk of flooding?

5.2 million homes and businesses in England are at risk of flooding. There are simple things you can do now to help reduce the impact of flooding on your home. Here are some other interesting facts about flooding.

How many homes and businesses are at risk of flooding in England?

5.2 million.

What are the risks of flooding?

You are statistically more likely to be flooded than burgled Fifty-five per cent of those living in flood-risk areas know they are at risk, and of these, 60% have taken some action. Leaving 40% who have not taken precautions despite knowing they are at risk.

What does it cost for a flood?

Managing flood risk, costs the UK around £2.2bn each year. We can break this down into the following :
£800m is currently spent annually on flood and coastal defences
£1.4Bn in damages

Is the cost of flooding in the UK economy increasing?

Spending on flood defences need to increase by an estimated £30m plus inflation annually to maintain existing levels of flood protection. An estimated £150m a year will also be needed for surface and groundwater flooding. Funds of around £150m a year will also be needed for surface and groundwater flooding. If see levels continue to rise as predicted the bill could even reach as high as £27Bn by 2080.

What was the most expensive flood?

The July 2007 floods cost as much a staggering £3Bn.

Are there different types of flooding?

Yes there are four main types of flooding.

Tidal Floods – coming from the sea and tidal rivers. These are tidal surges.
Flash Floods – mainly caused by surface-water. This is often worse in urban areas where the concreting of lots of garden and soil areas often leads to flooding.
Fluvial Floods – this happens on floodplains when a river breaks its banks due to rainfall, snow or ice melting.
Groundwater floods – When the earth is waterlogged and can no longer hold any more water.

Three simple steps can easily be taken to ensure that we protect ourselves against floods.

  • Check if you are at risk of flooding using a simple postcode search.
  • Sign up for free flood warnings and get free flood warnings direct to your mobile, home phone, or email.
  • Know what to do in a flood: download the Environment Agency’s ‘Prepare Act Survive’ flood guide.

Preparing for flooding

The UK Government has done an amazing job with a very through website preparing for flooding on gov.uk and also on the Property Resilience Forum.

Knowing what to do in a flood could save you tens of thousands of pounds in damages and possibly save lives.. Once you have established that you are at risk of flooding the next step is to take some precautions.

If you run a business it might be about preparing some contingency plans around business continuity if the worse does happen. Up-to 36% of businesses never recover after a flood. That is a huge percentage and significant cost to the economy. So business contingency should include communicating to the people within the business what to do of there is a flood.

At a domestic level preparations should include :

  • Prepare a ‘Grab bag’ prepared with essentials
  • Flashlight with new batteries
  • Moving car to safe place / higher ground if possible
  • Spare warm clothing
  • Medicines that are essential
  • Glasses
  • Essential documents and files
  • Check-list

Most people have flood insurance covered as a sub-section of their home or business insurance to protect your home or business against flooding. BUT it is worth checking. In some cases you might even find it difficult to get insurance for flooding in which case the National Flood Forum may be able to help.

Think about making your property resilient to flooding. To reduce flood damage lay tiles instead of carpets, move electrical sockets up the wall and fit non-return valves. If you know you live in an area at risk of flooding you could consider installing flood products. you can:

flood in business stairway

Getting Your Business Operational Again

If you have had to leave your home, make sure you check with the emergency services that it’s safe to return.

If you have been flooded and in either East and West Sussex, Kent, Surrey or London then contact CPL t/a Rainbow International. They can deal with the If you haven’t got insurance the National Flood Forum can offer help and support. Call them on 01299 403055 or visit their website. Take advice from specialists before starting repairs to your property. Most of the repair work after flooding will need to be undertaken by professionals appointed by your insurers.

Flood water contains harmful substances such as sewage, chemicals and animal waste which could make you unwell. If you come into contact with flood water wash your hands thoroughly. When cleaning your home after a flood always wear gloves, a face mask and sturdy footwear. For more information about how to safely clean up your home, visit  Public Health England.

Your local authority can advise you on how to dispose of used sandbags or flood damaged furniture and fittings.  

The Environment Agency has specially trained Flood Support Officers across the country who provide information and advice during and after floods. If you have been affected by flooding, contact the Environment Agency for details of local community drop-in sessions to get information, advice and support.

Think about repairing your property to make it resilient to flooding. To reduce flood damage you could take measure such as laying tiles instead of carpets, moving electrical sockets higher up the walls and fitting non-return valves. CPL t/a Rainbow International are the leading flood clean-up professionals having done 1000’s now, why would you trust anybody else.

Governments Flood Warning Service