This time last year the floods brought devastation to farming communities across Cumbria, Lancashire, Northumberland, County Durham and Yorkshire. With winds of up to 81 mph and record breaking rainfall, Storm Desmond caused damage to residential properties, farm buildings, riverbanks and the loss of livestock. Closely followed by Storm Eva and Frank the devastation extended across the UK.
To minimise the impact of flooding this winter now is the time to act and prepare for what’s in store.
First things first, do you recognise these symbols*?
According to the UKDN Waterflow nationwide survey 82% of respondents were not at all confident that they knew the difference between the three symbols**. In order to know what’s happening in your area it’s important to understand the warnings given out. These symbols are used on TV weather reports and also feature online at the Government and MET office websites. As the old saying goes “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail” so make sure you can identify these symbols and understand what their telling you.
1. Severe Flood warning – Severe flooding, danger to life.
2. Flood warning – Flooding is expected. Immediate action required.
3. Flood alert – Flooding is possible. Be Prepared
There are a number of steps that can be taken to prepare for flooding. Firstly, you can get warnings by phone, email or text to alert you about the risk of flooding to your home or business. Flood line is a free service that you can sign up to. If you’re in an area that is susceptible to flooding this is a must as it could be the first opportunity for you to find out what’s happening in your area. If you’re not signed up, call Flood line on 0345 988 1188 or alternatively sign up online today.
Do you have a flood plan?
Floods can happen at any time on any day so the next step is to ensure you have a flood plan in place. A Flood plan allows you to collate information that might not necessarily be on hand when a flood hits your farm. For example contact details for utility companies or your insurance company. It’s also important to prepare an emergency kit and understand how to turn off your gas, electricity and water supplies. These are all included as part of the flood plan***. The Environment Agency has a number of online resources including Flood plan templates that are available for you to download and complete accordingly. The latest templates can be found here. Whether it’s protecting your home, farm buildings, motor vehicles or livestock it’s important to have a plan established for when the worst might happen.
Producing a flood plan helps prepare for the risk of flooding, but there are also other ways to minimise the impact of storm damage or flooding.
Are you covered?
When it comes to insurance you should ensure you have the right amount of cover for your property or business. If you don’t have cover for flooding or you’re not sure if it’s included in your existing policy contact your broker today. Floods can be unpredictable and fast, so don’t wait to find out you’re not covered. Act now.