Business in the Community (BITC), The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, is urging businesses across Lancashire to assess how prepared they are for the impacts of flooding this week to avoid thousands of pounds of damage and distress.
According to the Environment Agency, the average cost of flooding to a business is £82,000, which means the effects can be devastating to the small and medium businesses that represent 99.9% of all the UK’s private businesses.
An estimated 92,000 properties in Lancashire are at risk of flooding, which can be caused by variety of factors, including surface water, swollen rivers or coastal flooding.
Extreme weather and rainfall in November and December 2015 caused thousands of homes and businesses in Lancashire to flood.
This week marks Would You Be Ready? Week, which aims to raise awareness of business resilience in communities across the UK. BITC wants to encourage businesses to take its free online Readiness Test that assesses how prepared businesses are for a range of disruptions.
Amanda Mackenzie OBE, Chief Executive of BITC said: “With spring just around the corner, preparing for extreme weather might not be a high priority for businesses currently. However, given how unseasonal our weather has been in recent years, and how devastating and costly severe weather can be, we want businesses to use Would You Be Ready? Week to pause and take a closer look at how prepared they would be if a flood was to occur.
“Businesses in Lancashire are particularly vulnerable to flooding and there are lots of simple things businesses can do to prepare for an emergency and limit the harmful effects flooding can have on their business.”
On completion of BITC’s Readiness Test, businesses in Lancashire will receive downloadable advice with quick and easy tips to adopt. Recommended top tips include:
- Check your property’s flood risk and sign up for flood warnings
- Create and practise an emergency plan so that everyone in your business knows what to do should a flood occur. BITC has a 10-minute plan on its website to get businesses started.
- Check your insurance covers you for floods and storms
Caroline Douglass, Director of Incident Management at the Environment Agency, said: “The terrible impacts of flooding can last long after the flood waters have receded. But simple actions can lessen the damage to your property, protect your wellbeing and help you recover more quickly.
“The best way for businesses to protect themselves from the effects of flooding is to know what to do in advance. Our flood forecasting service provides people, businesses and the emergency services with free warnings, giving vital time to move you, your staff and your precious items to safety before a flood hits.
For more information about how to protect your business from flooding, or to take the test, visit: www.bitc.org.uk/wouldyoubeready/extreme-weather