Two weeks ago I spent an interesting day with the Institute of Hazard Risk and Resilience at Durham University, listening to a number of presentations outlining staff and students’ current research projects and interests.
Of particular interest to me and our clients was the presentation by Dr Graham Coates providing an update on the SESAME project. This project looks at SMEs and their attitude to flood risk pre- and post-loss. This provides real life examples of flood losses and impact, as well as how businesses deal with the aftermath. Critically the project also examined how businesses would prepare for similar events in the future.
With extreme weather events becoming more prevalent in the UK, the key message I took away from the day with IHRR is that businesses need to be prepared for events like flooding including assessing the potential risks of events occurring. Consideration also needs to be given towards risk management and risk mitigation strategies.
Organisations need to draw up business continuity plans to prepare their staff for major losses such as floods and storms. A good way to begin the process of creating a business continuity plan is to get in touch with your local authority’s resilience or emergency planning team. Local authorities have a statutory duty to promote business continuity management by providing advice to businesses and voluntary organisations.
You can contact Gateshead’s Emergency Planning Team here.
You can contact Resilient Newcastle here.
Organisations should also ensure that they understand the flood insurance they have in place, including notification procedures. It is also really useful if your contingency plans have been drawn up in partnership with your insurer’s risk improvement surveyors so that any actions taken do not prejudice claims.
Insurance brokers are ideally placed to co-ordinate these activities and signpost clients to resources and professionals who can help organisations draw up coherent contingency plans for flooding. If you think your organisation would benefit from this kind of help, please do get in touch.