As many areas of the UK have recently suffered from extreme flooding, with many still on red alert, I wanted to share with you a guide on what steps to take should you and your business be affected.
Flood water can be devastating to your premises and assets but more importantly it can often be dangerous to life due to its speed, depth, hidden obstacles or contamination of water. Therefore, the most important thing that you can do is to ensure that you and your employees are safe and call 999 if there is any threat to life.
When you have ensured that everybody is safe, and you have assessed the risks you can begin to take the following steps –
1 – Notify your insurance company that the property has been flooded. The initial call will establish if they will provide emergency funding or alternative work premises.
2 – Implement your business recovery plan. What are your next moves in this situation? Ensure that you take regular backups on your computer and till software so if these are damaged you can continue trading without any loss to data.
3 – Notify your customers – This is very important that you inform customers if you are unable to trade or if you have moved to a temporary premises. Informing them will cause as little disruption as possible to them and will keep the money coming in if you can still trade.
4 – Do not return to the property until you are told that it is safe to do so. Once you have regained entry to the properTy you will need to make a record of the flood damage. Contact your insurer once again and arrange for a loss adjuster to make a visit and discuss the claims process. If you rent the property contact the landlord as it may be their insurer who will be involved in assessing the damage to the building and your insurer will assess the loss to contents, stock, equipment and business interruption.
To clean up the premises after the flood you must pump out the remaining floodwater and dry out the building. Regulations set by the Construction Industry Research and Information Association state that no more than 1m of flood water should be removed each day to avoid further structural damage to the building. For further information on the correct equipment to use for your circumstance please visit https://www.floodguidance.co.uk/flood-guidance/cleaning-up-after-a-flood/
Once the property and contents have been assessed you may wish to check if you may wish to check if you are eligible for grant funding which is used to help meet the cost of further flood protection measures. To check if you meet the criteria to receive funding please visit this website https://www.floodguidance.co.uk/grants-funding/
For further support you can contact the National Flood Forum which is a charity created to help and represent people at risk of flooding.
Remember the most important thing STAY SAFE.