Protect Your Business From Flooding


Flooding can be a disaster for any business. As well as damage to premises or equipment, you may lose stock and supplies and find that you cannot trade while the damage is repaired. You may lose contracts and your customers may go elsewhere. Even if the flood does not impact you directly, you may find suppliers are unable to meet your needs or flooded employees cannot get to work.

In addition to heavy financial losses, a flood may expose your business to civil or even criminal liability. In the worst-case scenario, employees and customers can be hurt or killed.

Floods are one of the most common natural disasters. Climate change is increasing the risk of flooding. Heavy rain can cause groundwater to rise and blocked sewers could cause your business to flood.

Simple preparations and planning can help. This guide explains how to assess the risks, protect your business and what to do after a flood.

Assess the risks of flooding

Understanding what the risks of flooding are for your business will help you decide what to do about it.

Assess how much damage a flood might cause. For example, your losses could be high if you have a lot of expensive stock on the ground floor of your shop or warehouse. Businesses which have taken action and are prepared can save between 20 and 90 per cent on the cost of lost stock and moveable equipment when there’s flooding.

Taking steps to prepare for flooding could:

  • significantly reduce damage to property and stock, business disruption and recovery costs
  • help you comply with regulatory requirements
  • reduce your exposure to civil or criminal liability
  • enhance your business’ image and credibility
  • help fulfil your responsibilities to protect employees, the community and the environment
  • help you to obtain insurance cover

You can find out about the chance of flooding from rivers or the sea by using the flood map on the Rivers Agency website. Think about other flood risks, particularly if your property is at the bottom of a hill or below sea level. If this is the case a more detailed flood risk assessment for your premises is advisable. For more information, read about flooding on the Rivers Agency website.

Your risk assessment can help you decide what to do to control the risks:

For more information, see the page on how to assess the possible impact of risks on your business in nibusinessinfo’s guide to crisis management and business continuity planning.

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