In 2015, Yorkshire was hit by the wettest December in a century after Storm Desmond and Eva brought more than a month’s rain to the area in the space of a few days. The Rivers Aire and Wharfe were over a metre higher than any previous records, and in many areas of Leeds city centre, the river Aire spilled into the canal causing flooding in the most unexpected places. That amount of rain in such a short time came as a shock for us all; however the sheer devastation of the flooding that followed was almost incomprehensible.
You can be prepared, by registering for the Environment Agency’s free Flood Warning Service, you will receive advanced warnings of potential flooding in your area so you can take steps to protect yourself and your business. You can receive the warning as a phone call to your business or home landline, on a mobile, or via text message or e-mail. To sign up, call Floodline 0345 988 1188, or click here to register for the Environment Agency’s flood warning service.
Being part of Eco Fair 2016 was a productive and enjoyable experience for those on the Environment Agency stand. Flood Resilience had the chance to speak to businesses about their flood risk, how to be prepared for flooding and whether they were affected by the 2015 winter flooding or not. We also had members from our Land and Water Team discussing issues affecting water quality and pollution prevention with businesses. Heather Cottrill, Flood Resilience Officer, Environment Agency
At Eco Fair, the Environment Agency heard from a steel fabrication company who were significantly impacted by the floods loosing huge amounts of stock that were not moved to higher ground. They are now in the process of recovery, having created higher shelving for their stock and protecting the building through the use of flood defences.
By meeting business owners at Eco Fair and hearing their stories of how they were affected by the floods across Yorkshire, it highlighted the importance of your business having a Flood Plan. A Business Flood Plan involves simple steps to successfully prepare your business for flooding. This might include a list of actions you will take in should a flood event occur and the order you will take them in.
In Calderdale, a small jewellery business has taken great steps to reduce their flood risk by having a Business Flood Plan. Improvements include concrete flooring and the use of impermeable materials, electronics being fitted above flood level, flood ‘buddies’ for key contacts, and regular attendance to the Community Business groups. These new measures considerably reduce their recovery cost and their Business Flood Plan means they have clear steps to take before, during and after a flood event.
If you feel your business would benefit from a Flood Plan, click here to view guidance on ‘Preparing your business for flooding’ which includes details of some of the easy actions that you can take to make sure that your business is as well prepared as possible for flooding. It also has a simple template that you can use to design a flood plan for your company.
Should you need any more information, or if you would like to share your story of how your business was affected in the past floods then please do get in touch with Eco Network, or contact Heather Cottrill, Flood Resilience Officer at the Environment Agency at firstname.lastname@example.org.