The Environment Agency is urging businesses, particular camping, caravan and holiday park sites in the South West to prepare for flooding.
Flood Resilience teams have been working with businesses and site owners across the region to offer advice on how to protect their businesses, visitors and residents in a flood. Tourists are not always aware they are in a flood risk area and businesses should check flood risk and make a plan to protect visitors and staff from floods.
There are a number of ways to minimise the impacts of flooding. These include:
- Making a flood plan and signing up to receive flood warnings
- Checking whether your business is vulnerable to flooding
- Examining what measures can be taken to protect a business
- Fitting flotation devices to static caravans to allow them to be lifted during flooding
- Raising caravans above ground level to reduce the risk of floodwater reaching the underside of the floor
- Anchoring caravans to prevent them from floating away during flooding
Richard Cresswell, South West Director of the Environment Agency, said:
‘Extreme events, such as the flooding and drought in 2012, are likely to become more frequent and more severe in the coming decades. It is vital that businesses plan for weather impacts to safeguard their operations today and in the future. Every £1 spent on preventing flooding saves £8 in repairing damage.
‘Registering to receive flood warnings is the first important step, and then there are lots of other measures people can take to reduce the impact of any future flooding. It is important to plan what to do before and during a flood. We recommend businesses have a flood plan in place. Don’t wait until a flood happens, you may not have time.’
The Riverside Hotel in Boscastle was flooded in 2004 and the hotel register was washed away so it was impossible to accurately account for the guests who were staying in the hotel at the time of the flood. Ross Yates, the hotel manager, introduced a web-based register which can be accessed remotely should the need arise.
In partnership with other organisations, the Environment Agency has produced a guide for site owners with practical advice on how to keep themselves, visitors and residents safe in a flood. The guide can be found here: http://ow.ly/r0g4f
‘It is vital that business owners including camping, caravan and holiday park site owners are prepared for the next time a flood occurs and it is essential they understand the risks and put the necessary protection into place,’ added Richard Cresswell.
You can check your flood risk and sign up to free flood warnings by visiting the Environment Agency website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/floodsouthwest or by calling Floodline on 0845 988 1188. The public can also get regular updates by following @EnvAgencySW and #floodaware.