How to prepare your business against floods

Posted By on January 8th, 2019

The weather in the UK is becoming increasingly more volatile and unpredictable from severe wet weather to the high temperatures seen across the country this summer.  Therefore, you can’t ignore weather when it comes to your business continuity planning. Here we will consider how you can best prepare your business against the threat of flooding this winter and mitigate any damage that could be caused.

Your business continuity plan should set out the processes and procedures that must be followed if a disaster, such as flooding occurs. This will be your most important document if flooding does strike so make sure that it is easily accessible, well-practiced and well received across your business and key staff members. Read our guide to developing a business continuity plan here.

Be aware of your risks

You can sign up to a number of informative resources which can help you stay ahead of the curve and armed with the relevant flooding information to protect your business.

The environment agency have a whole host of information relating to flood risk which can be searched by area as well as  5 day flood risk mapping.  You can sign up to receive free flood warnings via phone, email or text. For a charge they also offer a Targeted Flood warning service which may be of benefit if your business has multiple sites in different locations.

Also check sites such as the Met Office for up to date weather forecasts and the Highways Agency for information on road closures and transport routes.

Be prepared

Flood planning should be part of your business continuity plans but the environment agency also have a dedicated flood plan template you can follow if needed.

Make sure you have key contact numbers easily to hand incase flood strikes quickly (as it usually does) and you aren’t able to enter your premises. This could include:

  • Your insurance companies’ or broker’s details (including out of hours numbers just in case)
  • Key members of staff
  • Suppliers or clients that you may need to notify
  • Utilities and service providers
  • Local tradesmen for emergency work

Minimising damage

You can take precautions and implement measures that may mitigate damage to your property at three key stages:

Before a flood

  • Store important documents up high and if possible, do the same with computers and other technology
  • If you are planning any upgrades to your building, then try to implement flood resistant technology such as permeable outdoor surfaces or flood resistant plaster
  • If you know you are in a flood risk area you may want to invest in flood barriers to have on hand so that they are available at short notice
  • Make sure key personnel are aware of your business continuity plan and what to do in the event of a flood


  • Use sandbags or other types of flood barrier to minimise the amount of water entering your premises
  • If possible, move furniture and property to a higher level (but not if it causes danger to yourself)
  • Focus on safety – make sure your staff know not to come to work or how to evacuate if flooding happens during working hours
  • Take photos to document any damage as well as your efforts to minimise damage
  • Get in touch with your insurer or insurance broker


  • Contact your insurer to make your claim
  • Arrange for approved and registered tradesmen to come and check your gas and electrical supplies
  • You can start to remove flood water – only do so at a relatively slow rate and only when flood levels outside your property start to be lower than those inside your property to avoid structural damage
  • Ventilate your property
  • You may need to wait for a loss adjuster to visit before you know exactly what repairs are required

Check your insurance cover

Don’t just assume that your insurance will automatically provide cover against flooding – make sure you check well in advance and if you are not adequately insured update your policy. Also ensure you have cover in place for business interruption – this will provide cover for lost income and revenue if your business is unable to trade following a loss caused by an insured event such as a flood.