Even though we’re used to plenty of rain, it’s unusual to see extreme weather conditions in the UK. Unlike countries with tropical climates, we usually benefit from sufficient warning for flooding and storms, but it’s still sensible to be prepared.
In this guide, we’ll outline potentially damaging conditions – and provide some tips and tricks for business owners to help keep employees and buildings safe.
Internal and external damage to buildings from flooding can be devastating. With UK towns being hit by floods for the third time in a decade, it’s clear that the implications of climate change are starting to hit much closer to home.
Your office building might already be located in an area that’s prone to flooding. If that’s the case, here are a few things you can do to help minimise water damage:
- Ensure that sockets, wiring, electrical devices, and fuse boxes are raised to at least 1.5m above the floor
- Choose water-resistant materials in communal areas
- Store valuable items and important documents on high shelves
If you’re at risk of fast flooding, it’s a good idea to:
- Keep a supply of sandbags and place them near entrances
- Provide emergency high-vis clothing for your staff
- Consider making copies of all important documents
If you’re looking to relocate or buy new corporate premises, the good news is that you can now check the long-term flood risk for a specific area online.
Even though we don’t usually see strong winds in the UK, gusts can suddenly become dangerously high during stormy weather. To prevent structural damage to your commercial property in the event of a stormy gale, there’s a few things you can do. We’d recommend:
- Trimming back or cutting down trees near your building
- Removing tall features, including roof antennas
- Store bins securely and indoors if possible
Photographs from the aftermath of Storm Eunice show damage to buildings, treacherous waves and fallen trees, revealing the extent to which the UK can be underprepared for gales. However, you can play a part in keeping your employees safe.
Sometimes, heavy snow falls when we least expect it – especially in localised areas. It’s a good idea to make sure that your staff car park is gritted in freezing conditions, and if possible, keep a shovel stored on the premises.
In conclusion, there are a few extra precautions to take to make sure that your business is prepared for anything the weather throws at it. While a comprehensive insurance policy is a good idea in the event of severe disruption, above all, proactively keeping your employees safe and visible is your main priority.