Flood risk warning

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Commercial property owners are being advised to gain a thorough understanding of their flood risk this autumn, following fresh warnings from the Environment Agency and Met Office of more wet weather to come.

Risk management consultancy Argyll Environmental is advising commercial property owners not to underestimate the financial damage that can be caused by flooding, even if they think their property is in a safe area.

“We must not disregard the threat that flooding poses to our businesses and economy this winter,” said Chris Taylor, technical director for Argyll Environmental. “Businesses should be putting continuity plans in place now and even if they do not think they are in a flood risk area, obtain a flood risk screen report to ascertain their flood risk.

“One of the biggest issues we faced during the summer was properties being caught out by surface water flooding which is not covered by the Environment Agency flood risk maps. It is therefore vital that businesses obtain detailed reports in order to manage their flood risk this autumn.”

Argyll Environmental is advising owners consider the following five points with regard to assessing the value of obtaining a detailed flood risk screen report:

1. One in six properties is at risk of flooding. The fact that a property is well above the nearest river and nowhere near the coast does not mean it will not be affected.

2. The Environment Agency’s flood maps are intended as a guide only and are not designed to provide accurate information with regard to individual properties.

3. A comprehensive flood risk screening report requires expert knowledge based on multiple data sets to include all major types of flooding (river, coastal, surface water and ground water).

4. Flooding doesn’t just affect properties at ground level. Homes and businesses occupying upper levels (such as flats) are just as likely to have services such as electricity disrupted and access restricted by flooding.

5. Property insurance may not protect against uninsured losses such as waiting for the fabric of a property to dry out, loss of trading or mental anguish.