Prepare your Business for Flooding

Flooding is our most common and widespread natural disaster and as our climate changes we can expect to see more extreme weather – and more floods.

Rain on a window.

Preparation makes a difference

By taking action to prepare ahead for flooding, your business could save between 20% and 90% on the cost of lost stock and movable equipment. You can also dramatically reduce the trouble, workload and stress that goes with such an event.

Since the floods of Boxing Day 2015, Calderdale Council has been working with local businesses to support their efforts to protect themselves from future floods. By taking measures to make your business property more flood resilient, and by preparing an emergency flood plan, you will maximise your chance of coping with any serious incidents.

Use the Business Emergency Flood Plan template to create your own emergency flood plan today.


You should start by preparing an emergency plan for flash flooding, just as you have for fire. It should set out who needs to do what as well as identify a safe place for people to go.
Three people preparing a business flood plan.

Plan ahead now
The Environment Agency has prepared specific emergency plans for businesses in flash flood areas.

What to do in the event of a flood
If a flood is imminent:

  1. Give specific roles to your staff.  Ask yourself, who is responsible for doing what?
  2. It is important to know what signs to look for in your location, so you can ACT FAST. These signs might include:
    - Heavy rain or severe weather reports.
    - Rising water levels with churning and dark water.
    - A build-up of debris in rivers or streams.
  3. Move valuable stock or equipment out of the way of floodwater if you are sure you can do this safely.
  4. Switch off your utilities (gas, electricity and water).
  5. Secure your property by locking doors and windows and setting alarms.
  6. Move staff and visitors to a safe place.
  7. Where possible, do not walk or drive through floodwater. In a flash flood, most injuries and deaths happen when people try to cross floodwater. There might be hidden dangers like rubble and exposed drains under the water.
  8. Make sure everyone is accounted for and safe. Reassure those who need it.
  9. If emergency services do not attend the scene, contact Calderdale Council on 01422 288001. Out of hours you can contact 01422 288000.
  10. Keep up to date by listening to the radio or by calling the Environment Agency Floodline on 0345 988 1188.
  11. Plan where to go if you get caught in a flash flood. Move to a higher floor and wait for instructions from the emergency services. If you are in vulnerable accommodation without access to higher floors – or if you are caught outside – you should take shelter in the nearest two-storey building or go to higher ground. Call 999 if you are trapped.
  12. If you need to move people to a rest centre, contact Calderdale Council for instructions on 01422 288001, or out of hours call 01422 288000.
  13. Do not return to your site until the emergency services say it is safe.
  14. In the event of a flood, you should assess risks and the speed of water movement. At no time should you or your staff carry out any tasks that could put your life at risk.
  15. After the flood, update your Business Flood Plan.
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