What to do when your business premises are flooded

Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank have caused major flooding in many parts of the UK. And with more rain forecast, it’s essential that property owners prepare for the worst and act swiftly in the event of a flood. Flooding is of course a stressful time for anyone affected, but for the self-employed it can hugely impact your future. So from prior prevention to salvaging stock, here are some useful tips to minimise the affects …

Planning and preparation

Many parts of the country are more susceptible to flooding, and if your business premises are in a known flood risk area, you should consider buying specialist defence products. You can check if your area is at risk on the Property Care Association’s website.

Airbrick protection, sandbags and pumps are all widely available – the initial investment could save you a lot more in the long run.

Business buildings insurance is essential, whilst business equipment and stock can also be insured. The damaged caused by floods can result in thousands of pounds worth of damage, so it’s essential to keep receipts and proof of purchase in the event of a claim.

When the flood hits

As the flood hits, there are a number of measures you can take to limit the damage, but first things first, stay safe - flowing floodwater can be incredibly powerful.

Fit your flood prevention equipment at the earliest opportunity, remembering to turn off your water, gas and electricity.

Move valuable and electrical items to the upstairs of your premises as soon as possible, and for cafes, restaurants and bars especially, secure outdoor items – such as tables, chairs and outdoor furniture.

After the flood

In the aftermath of the flood, you’ll inevitably be shaken, but there are small details that can help the situation.

Providing it’s safe to do so, return to your premises, phone your insurer and make a claim. Simply Business have a 24-hour helpline and regardless of the time, it’s important to call as soon as you can.

From taking photos of damage to making a list of lost goods, following our five-step guide on how to make a claim will ensure your claim goes through as smoothly as possible.

Keep your gas and electricity supplies switched off for the time being, begin making simple emergency repairs (again, if safe to do so) and recover any items – including damaged items for evidence.

Were you affected by the floods? Or do you have any further questions? Let us know in the comments section below.

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