Extreme rainfall, how can your business prepare?

We’ve been breaking weather records recently, and 2024 might become the wettest year ever. This extreme rainfall affects everyone, including your business. We will explain the potential impacts on your business and how you can prepare for them.

Extreme rainfall

After the hottest days of the year so far, strong winds and heavy rain will soon hit the UK again. The UK experienced the 18 wettest months recorded since data collection began in 1863. Additionally, there have been instances of high tides. This increase in rainfall and high tides brings risks and challenges for businesses. Several coastal towns experienced flooding earlier this year, destroying a coast guard station and a bicycle shop.

Floods also caused water damage to as many as 110,000 homes and flooded railway tunnels. In addition to damage to homes and infrastructure, floods can also cause power blackouts. Recreational activities were also affected; a sports club incurred high costs due to damage, a theatre was forced to close for some time, and a shoe store suffered thousands of pounds in damages. This extreme rainfall is caused by climate change, and the UK is certain to face a wetter and flood-prone future. The impacts of flooding can leave many traces, physically, financially, and mentally. However, you can prepare your business for these future circumstances.

Impacts on your businesses

These risks will only increase in the coming years, making it critical to prepare for them. The various impacts of extreme rainfall can also affect your business. Here are some considerations.

1. Damage to goods or business property

Whether you store business stock in your building, grow products outdoors, or have a shop on a busy street, water damage can cause significant harm. Your belongings may suffer water damage, resulting in the loss of stored items. Excessive rainfall can ruin your crops. Even the street where your car is parked can become completely flooded, potentially damaging your business vehicle. However, people might not immediately think of the risk of leaks. Leaks in business premises are also a risk and can cause significant damage. Water damage poses a serious risk to your property and business operations.

2. Logistical issues and supply chain disruptions

Flooded streets or roads can damage infrastructure, disrupting the transport and delivery of goods. This can disturb your logistical arrangements, leading to delays in receiving or delivering products. This can affect your production or result in penalties for failing to meet commitments.

3. Water drainage and the risk of collapse

If the water from your premises is not drained correctly, it will accumulate. This creates pressure on the roof and poses a risk of collapse. This is dangerous not only for the people and goods inside the building but also for nearby residents.

What you can do

Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent or limit this type of damage. Here are some tips:

1. Insure your goods and store them properly

You can insure your goods to protect them, but here’s a practical tip. Put your inventory and other business stock at least 15 inches off the floor. Make sure (if possible) that you have thresholds and that your building is slightly elevated above street level. This helps minimise damage from minor floods or leaks.

2. Risk assessment and planning

Create a crisis plan. Identify where the risks lie in your business's supply chain. Consider your supply chain: Can your suppliers withstand extreme rain, and are they located in flood-prone areas, both domestically and internationally? What would it mean for your business if it rained for weeks? Adjust your inventory policies to be better prepared, for example. What does it mean for your business if it rains for weeks? You won't be caught off guard by identifying potential consequences, risks, and solutions.

3. Roof and water drainage

Check if the water from your business premises is drained appropriately. If you cannot check the condition of the roof yourself, periodically ask a specialist to inspect it to prevent dangerous situations.

4. Go green!

Green spaces absorb a lot of water, so go green! You can green the roof of your business premises or choose semi-permeable paving, which allows water to flow through and be absorbed by the ground. This can reduce the risk of roof collapses or flooded streets.

With our help, and that of our specialised business partners, you can protect your business from the increasing risks of extreme weather. Use our platform to identify risks, reduce negative impact, and grow sustainably. Contact us now and start your sustainability journey!

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