Businesses and flooding


Business continuity plans for flooding


First check to see if your business is at risk of flooding from surface water, reservoirs and rivers at the Environment Agency website.

Floodline warnings

If your business is at risk of flooding, sign up for floodline warnings or call 0345 988 1188.


  • Do you have a business continuity officer to lead and organise this workstream?
  • Does your business insurance cover flood risk?
  • Where are your vulnerable areas? Produce a list including suppliers, human resources, systems, processes, technology etc.
  • How essential is each department’s work to the overall performance of the business on a day-to-day basis?
  • How long can the business cope without its key services?
  • How easy would it be to relocate?

Assessing risks

To identify risk, look at the vulnerable areas of the business and consider some of the more generic 'what if' scenarios.

The essential part of any risk assessment is to ask 3 simple questions:

  • How likely is it to happen?
  • What effect will it have on the business?
  • What factors can reduce the likelihood, effect, or mitigate the risk entirely?

The main priority is to make sure that all staff are always safe. Always try to consider the worst-case scenario when carrying out the risk assessment. This will mean that less serious incidents will be easier to manage.

Test the plan

A plan needs testing regularly to help all involved to understand their role, how it fits into the wider plan and the importance of each role. This should be carried out on a 6 monthly basis to allow new staff to understand the process and rehearse their role.

Protecting your business

It may not be possible to prevent flooding to your business, but you can plan for it by ensuring that any stores are put on a higher level, allowing space for expensive equipment and vehicles in protected areas.

You should prepare a:

  • catalogue of the business assets for insurance and recovery
  • list of important contacts, including Floodline, insurance provider, suppliers, and contacts for staff
  • description or map showing locations of key property, protective materials, and service shut-off points
  • basic plan and delegate roles to key staff for protecting property and assisting recovery
  • checklist of procedures that can be quickly accessed and followed by staff during a flood

There may be other actions that can be taken to prepare business buildings and contents to minimise damage and associated repair and restoration costs:

  • ensure storm drains are clear and operating as they should
  • move and store electrical, boxed, material, food, critical and perishable goods to an area at least one metre above floor level
  • place all chemicals in a proper storage locker to prevent contamination, spillage, and loss
  • raise electrical sockets and separate ring mains
  • ensure delegated personnel know how and when to turn off gas, electric and water supplies
  • enclose or lock down items that may float or cause damage if moved
  • if there are areas that need protecting, fit flood barriers recommended for that use. Ensure delegated personnel are trained and know how and when to deploy these items

Have clean-up equipment and a recovery plan ready.


We provide support and advice on business continuity management. We also offer training to organisations across the county to help develop their business continuity processes.

In addition, we run exercises to help test your processes in a controlled situation.

Our wide range of partnerships mean we have links with other organisations or agencies that can support you to help further develop your business’s resilience.

Contact the Emergency Planning team by emailing [email protected] to talk about your requirements and how we can help you.

Last updated 27 July 2023