Research from Northern Ireland’s River Agency reveals that there are over 5 million properties across the UK at risk of flooding, with 1 in 20 located in Northern Ireland, says Michael Blarney, Managing Director, Autoline.
A summer of hot, dry weather has swept across Northern Ireland, but so have bursts of torrential rain, such as the devasting floods that impacted multiple business at the end of July. Following this, the Met Office has suggested that the damper weather will continue into the winter months.
While longer periods of heavy, widespread rain can often lead to coastal flooding, your business faces a greater risk from flash floods, especially in a built up area. If the underlying ground surrounding your business premises cannot drain the rainwater away fast enough, your business can be left in a vulnerable position. It is vital that as a business owner, you are aware of flood hazards wherever you are situated and prepared to tackle a flooding crisis.
Just because your business has not experienced the impact of flooding in the past, this doesn’t mean you won’t suffer risk in the future. Flooding threat isn’t just based on history, but numerous factors such as rainfall, topography, flood-control measures within your local business area, and the creation of new surrounding developments.
The Environment Agency estimates that with proper flood preparation, most business can save 20% to 90% on the cost of lost stock due to flooding. Neglecting to prepare your property for possible flooding can sink your business. Stay afloat with thorough preparation and a personal flood plan.
Prepare your business by purchasing flood boards for your doors when flooding occurs, seal floors to prevent water seeping up through the ground and keep a pump in the lowest level room of your building to remove water. Also, protect your electricals by raising sockets, fuse boxes and wiring at least 1.5m from the floor, as well as installing high shelving to store items when flooding occurs.
However, it is not enough to physically protect your property against flooding. Business insurance is the ultimate preparation for your business. Flooding poses a substantial – but not ruinous – risk to businesses. Ensure your commercial cover protects your business against flood damage to guarantee that your business can weather any storm that comes its way.