Property Management: Managing your flood risk
The Environment Agency (EA) estimates that over 5 million properties in England and Wales are at risk of flooding. In Scotland, the number of at-risk properties is around 125,000 and 65,000 in Northern Ireland, respectively, according to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Northern Ireland’s Rivers Agency (RA). These numbers include properties at risk from surface water, rivers and the sea. If your property is in an area prone to flooding, make sure you have appropriate insurance and flood defences in place.
REDUCING YOUR RISK
The best way to protect your property from flood damage is to plan ahead. Use these recommendations:
o Complete a flood risk assessment. Consider your area’s flood history, and where your property is located in relation to bodies of water.
o Develop a flood plan. Establish a procedure for handling a flood at your property.
o Assign responsibilities for all actions.
o Establish lines of communication for during and after a flood incident.
o Ensure critical data and records are stored safely, or even removed from the premises.
o Have contact information available for your company’s key personnel.
o Ensure that employees and visitors are not exposed to danger and can leave the premises if it is safe to do so.
o Complete frequent checks on your flood defences and consider upgrading them if necessary.
Defences may include the following:
o Air-brick covers or other water guards for openings
o Flood skirts around the building’s perimeter walls.
o Flood-proof doors and floor boards.
DEVELOP A FLOOD PLAN. ESTABLISH A PROCEDURE FOR HANDLING A FLOOD AT YOUR PROPERTY.
If your property is in England, Scotland or Wales, you can also register for free, advance flood warnings through Floodline Warning Direct at this website. For more information about your flood risk and to view flood maps for your area, visit these websites:
• England and Wales: www.environmentagency.gov.uk/flood
• Scotland: www.sepa.org.uk/flooding
• Northern Ireland: www.nidirect.gov.uk
If you have standard property insurance or a business insurance policy, you may already be covered for flood and storm damage to your premises—but you may need to purchase other policies, such as business interruption insurance, to cover additional perils. Read your current policy to find out what it covers, and contact The County Group for help in determining your insurance needs.