NE business urged to check their flood risk

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Amanda Mackenzie
Amanda Mackenzie

Business in the Community (BITC), The Prince’s Responsible Business Network – is urging businesses across Aberdeenshire to assess how prepared they are for the impacts of flooding to avoid thousands of pounds of damage and distress.

Reports suggest the average cost of flooding to a business is £82,000, which means the effects can be devastating to the small and medium businesses that represent 99.9% of all the UK’s private businesses[.

According to the recent Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s (SEPA) National Flood Risk Assessment, an estimated 29,300 properties in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are at risk of flooding, which can be caused by variety of factors, including surface water, swollen rivers or coastal flooding. Around 5,600[ of those are businesses.

When Storm Frank hit Scotland around Hogmanay in December 2015, it caused widespread flooding across Scotland. In Ballater, more than 300 properties were affected when the River Dee burst its banks.

This week marks Would You Be Ready? Week, which aims to raise awareness of business resilience in communities across the UK. BITC wants to encourage businesses to take its free online Readiness Test that assesses how prepared businesses are for a range of disruptions.

Amanda Mackenzie OBE, Chief Executive of BITC said: “Severe weather can have a devastating impact and overwhelming financial costs for any business.

“Extreme weather might be unpredictable but your plan of action shouldn’t be. This week is an opportunity for businesses to assess their resilience, learn how to minimise the impact of flooding and protect that business you have spent years building up.”  

On completion of BITC’s Readiness Test, businesses in Aberdeenshire will receive downloadable advice with quick and easy tips to adopt. Recommended top tips include:

  • Check your property’s flood risk and sign up for flood warnings
  • Create and practise an emergency plan so that everyone in your business knows what to do should a flood occur.  BITC has a 10-minute plan on its website to get businesses started.
  • Check your insurance covers you for floods and storms

Stewart Prodger, from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s (SEPA’s) Flooding team said: “Flooding is dangerous and can happen very quickly. The effects, too, can be devastating, taking months to recover from.

“The best way to protect Aberdeenshire businesses from the effects of flooding is to prepare. Know your likely risk by using SEPA’s flood maps, sign up to our free Floodline flood warning service, both will help you make your businesses more ready to react more quickly, ensuring you, your staff and your precious items are moved to safety.

“There are also many more quick wins for businesses in Aberdeenshire and I’d encourage responsible businesses to take the time to prepare this week.”

For more information about how to protect your business from flooding, or to take the test, visit: www.bitc.org.uk/wouldyoubeready/extreme-weather

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