Following the effects Storm Ophelia had earlier in the week, and the Met Office telling us that Storm Brian will probably ruin our weekend (unless you are a Storm Chaser), we have a few tips to help your business prepare for what else might be heading our way.
This winter, the Met Office predicts a 1 in 3 chance of a new monthly rainfall record in at least one region. Last year, flood and storm damage cost the UK economy an estimated £1.3 billion, and this year is expected to be worse.
Floods and other natural catastrophes are increasing in number and intensity. Even though floods cannot be completely avoided, your organisation can begin preparing to reduce the potential damages. One of the best ways to do that is to develop a business continuity plan. While your plan will be unique to your organisation and its needs, it should at least involve the following practices:
- Analyse your organisation. Review each room, floor and utility in your organisation. As part of this inspection, be aware of how to shut off your mains supply and record what valuable items, stock and fittings are stored in each room. You should have clear, concise records of what you noted during your inspection.
- Assess the risks to your organisation. Conduct a thorough risk assessment and record any risks.
- Develop a strategy to address each risk. For each identified risk, devise and outline at least one solution. For some potential risks, such as gaps in your walls and floors, you should address them now before the rain starts.
- Develop your plans. In general, you should have a plan for what to do after a flood warning has been announced and what to do after a flood. This should involve continuity plans with suppliers and clients as well as clean-up procedures.
- Review your plans. Review your plan at least annually and make adjustments, if necessary. In addition, review and revise your plan after a flood to ensure that it is as up to date as possible.
Business continuity planning can be expensive, but as an Alan & Thomas client, we can provide you with a Sample Business Continuity Plan along with a Comprehensive Toolkit to help you create something that is tailored to your business. Business Interruption Insurance is another thing you should enquire about as you want to make sure that if something did happen to your business and you couldn't trade for a period of time, you don't want to suffer financially. After a catastrophe, many firms are unable to recover and a large proportion cease trading. Having the right insurance in place and a solid business continuity plan could be the difference between staying in business or not.
For more information about how your organisation can protect itself from flood damage, receive a complimentary Business Continuity Planning Toolkit or talk about your insurances, contact the professionals at Alan & Thomas Insurance Group today on 01202 754900.