Guide

Protect your business from flooding

What to do after a flood

Your first priority must be safety. Do not re-enter your premises until you are sure they are safe. Even if a building looks safe, it may have suffered structural damage and could collapse. You also risk a fatal electrical shock if the mains electricity has not been disconnected.

Clearing up flood damage

Bear in mind that flood water may contain sewage, chemicals and waste matter. Protect yourself and others assisting in the clean up by wearing suitable protective clothing to prevent possible infection. If you are using a pump to remove excess water, place the generator outside the building to avoid the risks associated with the build-up of carbon monoxide fumes.

Once it is safe to re-enter, make a record by photographing flood damage to the building, equipment and goods. Check with your insurance company before you start salvaging goods and repairing damage. They can often recommend suitable tradesmen to help you, and may be willing to make an interim payment to help you get your business going again as quickly as possible. Local authorities usually provide skips and extra rubbish collections for items that your insurance company has agreed you can throw away. Find your local council in Northern Ireland.

You may find it quicker and safer to replace damaged items rather than repairing them. You may need expert advice on the best way to repair damage to the building.

You will need to start trading again as soon as possible. A good flood plan should include a list of key contacts, such as suppliers. You may be able to operate from temporary premises while repairs are carried out.

You should also consider how to make your premises more flood resistant to future floods. Prepare a business flood plan.