The UK Environment Agency today issued five severe flood warnings, 27 flood warnings and 52 flood alerts, amidst some of the most adverse weather conditions Britain has faced this year. FM Global, one of the world's largest commercial property insurers, has released a checklist to help businesses prepare for and minimise potential flood damage.
Stefano Tranquillo, Vice President, Northern Europe Operations, FM Global, said: "Nearly one hundred and seventy five years of experience in advising businesses on property risk management has taught us that the majority of property damage from floods is preventable. Whilst the potential threat that flood poses to businesses is significant, this does not necessarily mean that losses are inevitable. There are practical measures that businesses can take against the flood threat to prevent or minimise loss, maintain their operations and safeguard their brands."
FM Global's top ten recommendations to help businesses protect against potential flood damage are:
- Ensure potential flood scenario is understood, including warning time, likely duration and the potential depth of flooding in or around each building or area.
- Implement a Flood Emergency Response Plan.
- Identify an Emergency Response Team with a designated leader with the authority to take action (including shutting down operations in preparation for a flood). Designate responsibility for monitoring reports on flood conditions and water levels and keeping the Emergency Response Team leader updated.
- Identify and relocate portable high value items to a safe area.
- Fill sandbags and place around possible entry points and vital protection equipment, such as the firepump house.
- If machinery that cannot be moved might be exposed to condensation dripping from the ceiling, cover equipment with large plastic sheets.
- Reduce the chance of a fire during flooding by: - shutting off electricity and gas to prevent short-circuiting of electrical equipment and lessen the fire hazard of ruptured gas lines; and - installing barriers around sprinkler risers, yard valves and hydrants to protect them from floating debris.
- When a facility has sump pumps, ensure they are maintained and operational.
- Close hand-operated valves on drain piping to prevent backflow through floor drains or plumbing fixtures.
- Check and then monitor roofs, floors and outside drains to ensure they are clear.