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Flooding and business

Preparing for floods

Download Leaflet - Flooding and business owners (75 kbs)

Look at your existing business policies, and think about whether they are appropriate in the event of a flood. You might want to adapt your procedures to prepare for flooding.


Security procedures

  • Security procedures - Locking windows, doors and setting the alarm. You might need more than one person to help do this.
  • Insurance policies - Are you insured for flood damage, business interruption and lost revenue?
  • Employee manuals - You might add flood safety to staff information packs, or adapt job descriptions to include flood warden duties.
  • Hazardous materials plan - You must ensure that chemicals, oils and other substances in your possession are kept safe and do not contaminate flood water.
  • Health and safety assessment - Plan to check functioning of flood products and flood warning systems regularly, just as you do for fire safety equipment.

Important contacts

  • Make a list of important telephone numbers, including contacts for gas, electricity, water and telephone providers.


  • Make a list of employees' contact details in the event of an evacuation. This might include mobile telephone numbers, or numbers for their home or the home of a friend or relative.
  • Think about staff who may need special assistance in the event of a flood (e.g. elderly, deaf, blind etc.)

Key locations

  • Know the location of cut-off points for gas, electricity and water. Ideally, these should be marked on a map that is stored with your flood plan.
  • Know the location of chemicals, oils or other materials that could be dangerous or contaminate flood water. These should be stored safe from floods and other damage.

Protective actions

  • Note key stock, equipment and possessions that may need special protection from flood waters.
  • Consider things you may need during or after a flood (i.e. sandbags, plastic sheeting, loudspeaker etc.)
  • See if it's possible to move key operations, such as shipping and receiving or customer services, to another building.
Suppliers and external links
  • Identify products and services you won't need in the event of a flood, or which suppliers may not be able to provide. Make back-up plans or arrangements for short-notice cancellation of deliveries.
  • Consider contracting in advance with companies whose help you may need after a flood. This avoids the frustration of finding help in an emergency, and puts you in a better position to negotiate costs.
  • Identify people who can help you before, during and after a flood.

Flooding facts

Flood water is often contaminated by overflowing drains, animal carcasses and refuse.