Flood damage can be extensive and expensive. It is not always covered by home insurance policies, so it is recommended that households and businesses take some simple but effective precautions to minimize risk to their premises and keep costs to a minimum.
Businesses must also have an effective plan to remain operational if a disaster strikes, otherwise outgoing costs will skyrocket and incoming payments will cease. In an average year, DEFRA and the Environment Agency (EA) estimate the cost incurred per flooded English business to be between £75,000 and £112,000.
Here are some of the best tips to help ensure minimal distress in the event of a flood on your property.
1. Know your situation – If you don’t know whether or not you are at risk of flooding, find out. People always say, “I never thought this kind of thing would happen to me.” Research the risk, if there is a chance that it will happen to you, prepare for it. The Environment Agency monitors the risk of flooding in the UK and issues warnings to areas at risk of flooding. Sign up for EA Floodline to receive flood warnings.
two. Plan – If you do not have physical protection against flooding, you may need to evacuate and this will need to be safely monitored and organized. Companies could modify an existing fire escape strategy. Make sure you have a flood emergency response plan and an emergency response team. Designate a Flood Warden to show staff where the plan is kept along with a list of key contact numbers. Consider preparing a flood kit that can be stored where staff members can easily access it if the property floods.
3. It is a good idea for companies to have a continuity plan to facilitate ongoing operational efficiency. Modern technology makes it easy to run a portable business. You can move to another property (perhaps a room in the business owner’s house), or at least have a small-scale operation that works during the flood. Homeowners can modify these guidelines to ensure they can effectively care for their families if they find themselves caught in floods.
Four. Have a flood action plan: have sandbags or a flood barrier to help keep water out, know who is in charge of doors, windows, drains and vents, who will be responsible for tracking the state of the flood, have an exit strategy and a list of contacts where you might stay in the worst case scenario, as well as your local support phone numbers. Also keep a family flood kit, which contains a few essentials, especially for children, and be sure to bring your laptop and mobile phone, as these can be essential for finding out more about extreme weather conditions and staying in touch. with people who could help. . For businesses and homes alike, it’s vital to ensure that someone is designated to shut off all gas and electricity.
5. You are protected? – Check insurance policies to see if you are covered for flood damage. Only a small percentage of people in high-risk flood areas know if their insurance covers water damage. If you can keep the water out, this is better than repairing the damage. Look at simple preventative steps you can take, like portable flood barriers.
Flood Damage Reduction
1. Shut down and relocate – Move high-value items, critical records, and electronic equipment to upper floors. If safe to do so, move essential vehicles to higher ground. Disconnect all electrical appliances and shut off the gas supply to reduce the risk of fire.
two. Hold dangerous water – Flood waters are often contaminated with biohazards (sewage, medical waste, animal waste, and carcasses) or other hazardous materials (fuels, asbestos, agricultural chemicals, etc.). Flood-damaged buildings can also have damp areas where mold, mildew, and other organisms thrive. Close manual valves on drain pipes to prevent backflow through floor drains or plumbing fixtures. Check that roof, floor, or patio drains are clear.
3. Document any damage – Take photographs of the damage, both to the property and its contents for insurance claims. Notify insurers of damage and schedule restoration work.