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A Quick Business Guide To Flood Risk Assessments

Posted: 07/08/2017

Flooding appears to be increasingly in the news these days and as such, it’s vital that businesses understand how best to protect their premises, assets, stock and of course keep their employees safe,  especially if they live in a flood-prone part of the UK.

In fact, in the past week (July 18th) flash floods hit parts of Cornwall, with dozens of homes on the south coast evacuated after thunderstorms affected the region last Tuesday afternoon.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue advised people to avoid going to Coverack because of major flooding, recommending that they don’t try and drive through flood waters that were triggered by massive waves breaching coastal defences.

According to the Guardian, people had to be airlifted to safety from the small fishing village, both access roads were swamped so residents were cut off, properties and roads suffered structural damage, and hailstones as big as 50p pieces broke panes of glass on the Paris Hotel building in the village.

Owner of a local B&B Anne Rogers was quoted by the news source as saying: “We got the helicopter overhead, which has just airlifted two people to safety from a bungalow near the river. The tarmac from the road is now along the seafront – it is just horrendous. It is utter devastation all along the seafront and the cliffside properties are all flooded.”

As the year goes on and we get closer to autumn and winter, stories like this will become ever more commonplace… so now’s the time to galvanise your workforce and carry out a risk assessment to find out what the likelihood of a flood is and what you need to do in case one does happen.

The Know Your Flood Risk campaign advises companies that flooding is actually the most likely peril to cause disruption and damage to business properties in the UK, with more than 300,000 premises in the UK currently at risk of flooding.

There are different types of flooding that you could be affected by, from coastal and river to surface flooding, so you’ll need to assess which of these is most likely to be a problem for you. Even if you’re nowhere near a river or the sea, you could still be affected because rainwater can run off hillsides, sewers can overflow, water mains can burst… the list goes on.

You need to prepare your business for a flood, by undertaking a flood plan, risk assessment and flood evacuation plan, which will help you protect your staff. It’s also advisable to sort out insurance and maintain your business records, which will help to minimise disruption, reduce financial losses significantly and limit damage to stock, property and equipment. If your business is above a certain size, nominating some staff members to serve as flood wardens is advisable, so they could become part of your on-site crisis management team and help to execute your emergency response plan.

If you need a bit of help with your risk assessments, get in touch with us at HFR Solutions CIC today