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Protecting your business - managing flood risk

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According to the Environment Agency, over 5 million people in the UK live or work in flood risk area.

The risk of flooding can reduce the value of your business premises and can make the arrangement of insurance cover trickier or more expensive. The impact of flood risk on the potential value of your property can be reduced by improving the flood resistance and flood resilience of the property and its contents.

In this SlideShare we’ll look at how to assess the risk of flooding to your business.

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Protecting your business - managing flood risk

  1. 1. Protecting your business: managing flood risk
  2. 2. Flood risk: protecting your organisation According to the Environment Agency, over 5 million people in the UK live or work in flood risk area. The risk of flooding can reduce the value of your business premises and can make the arrangement of insurance cover trickier or more expensive. The impact of flood risk on the potential value of your property can be reduced by improving the flood resistance and flood resilience of the property and its contents. In this SlideShare we’ll look at how to assess the risk of flooding to your business.
  3. 3. Conduct a flood risk assessment All businesses, no matter what kind of premises they occupy or the perceived risk of flooding, should conduct a flood risk assessment to ascertain the true risk. In a flood risk assessment you should examine: Whether the site or surrounding area features on the Environment Agency (www.environment-agency.gov.uk) or Scottish Environment Protection Agency (www.sepa.org.uk) flood maps. If you are in Northern Ireland, areas classified by the Rivers Agency (www.dardni.gov.uk/riversagency) or your local authority as being at risk of flood
  4. 4. Conduct a flood risk assessment Your flood risk assessment should examine: Your proximity to water sources; whether natural, including lakes, streams, rivers and the sea; or man-made, including canals, lakes and reservoirs (on request, specialist search providers can provide detailed information about your individual property, including risk from local groundwater and surface water). And include: •any history of flooding at the site or its surrounding area; •whether the property is located in a low-lying area; and •the adequacy of surface water drainage.
  5. 5. Monitor flood warnings Pay close attention to flood warnings When the weather is inclement, it is prudent to monitor the media for flood warnings in your area. The Environment Agency and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency both provide a 24 hour Floodline – 0845 988 1188. Floodline Warnings Direct is a free service that provides flood warnings by phone, text or email – register here. You can follow the Environment Agency and the Met Office on Twitter: @EnvAgency and @metoffice respectively.
  6. 6. Prepare a flood plan If your flood risk assessment identifies that your property could be at risk of flooding, you should draw up a flood plan. For information about how to prepare a flood plan, click here. As a minimum, your plan should include: 1.Details of the locations of key property, protective materials and service shut-off points. 2.Key contact details, for example, Floodline, building services, flood recovery services and any suppliers’ history of flooding at the site or its surrounding area. Preparing a flood plan
  7. 7. 3. An evacuation plan for your staff and procedures and checklists readily accessible to all staff. 4. Details of any specific high value or business critical assets that would need to be relocated to temporary premises as a priority (note: you must be sure to advise your insurer or broker of such assets in order to secure extended cover). 5. Means to protect your property and expedite its recovery. 6. Details of your insurance policy and provider, including any loss recovery Insurance you may have. Preparing a flood plan
  8. 8. Prevent or limit water entering your property The Environment Agency recommends two ways that businesses can protect their properties: flood resistance and flood resilience. More information about both is provided in the following slides. You should seek specialist professional advice from a chartered surveyor to ensure the effectiveness of any flood resistance or flood resilience measures and also that the work is properly specified and carried out. Preventing water damage
  9. 9. Flood resistance is the act of preventing water from entering the property. There are a number of enhancements you may look to make to your property in order to maximise its ability to withstand the entry of water: •Guards – flood skirts, for example, that can be quickly fitted or raised to protect perimeter walls and stop water from seeping through gaps in external doors. •Covers that can be fitted over ventilation bricks. •“Non-return” valves fitted to drain-pipes, water inlets and outlets and other pipes. Flood resistance
  10. 10. • Tanking internal floors and basement walls • Raising damp-proof courses and sealing floors Important note: Generally speaking, properties – including business premises – in the UK can only be protected from flood waters to a maximum height of 0.9m, and in some cases only up to 0.6m. Where there is a risk of flooding to a depth of over 0.9m, keeping water out can actually be harmful as the water pressure may cause structural damage to your building. If you are considering flood defence barriers higher than 0.9m you must seek the advice of a qualified structural engineer. Flood resistance
  11. 11. Flood resilience Employing flood resilience measures will help limit the damage to your property in the event that is does flood and will enable you to reoccupy it as quickly as possible: •Where possible, avoid the use of timber and chipboard in basements and ground floors and instead build solid or suspended concrete floors with damp proof membranes. •In kitchens and lavatories, use water-resistant materials such as stainless steel, plastic or solid wood rather than chipboard. •For basements and ground floors, employ a sump pump and ideally have a slight incline.
  12. 12. Flood resilience • Employ water resistant finishes such as cement render and lime plaster. • Raise gas and electrical intakes, electrical sockets, fuse boxes and wiring and pipes to at least 1.5m above floor level. • Keep high value or business critical assets above floor level, or ideally to an area not at risk of flood.
  13. 13. Having the right insurance in place should mean that you can claim and recoup at least some lost profits. An effective insurance programme caters for denial of access, whether caused by direct damage to your property or otherwise. It is strongly recommended that you check with your insurance provider or broker that you have denial of access cover – whether you have already been affected, or think you may be affected by floods in an indirect way in the months to come. The right level of cover
  14. 14. To ensure your business can survive the long-term effects of flood risk you will need to create a disaster recovery plan, which will include considerations such as how to sustain critical activities, temporary relocation, notifying customers and replacing stock. Business continuity planning
  15. 15. National Flood Forum: www.nationalfloodforum.org.uk A national charity dedicated to supporting and representing communities and individuals at risk of flooding. Facilitates and supports community flood groups, helps communities recover from flooding, and provides information and guidance online and through flood surgeries. The Blue Pages directory: www.bluepages.org.uk An independent directory of flood protection products and services, provided by the National Flood Forum. Flood Protection Association: www.thefpa.org.uk An independent, non-commercial organisation, raising awareness of the wider solutions available through the use of members’ products and services to minimise the effects of flooding. Informs legislation and promotes industry standards. Useful contacts
  16. 16. For more tips, news and articles visit www.lucasfettes.co.uk Or why not keep up-to-date with all the latest news, views and comments by following @LucasFettes and our Lucas Fettes LinkedIn page? Stay in touch

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