The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says businesses and homeowners must now prepare for extreme weather in the future by creating flood plans to protect their properties.
RICS is calling on the public and businesses to register with the Environment Agency and sign-up to receive regular flood warnings on their properties.
“Over the last decade, we’ve experienced at least one serious flood per year, and as our climate continues to change, we can expect to see further extreme weather. Alan Cripps, RICS Associate Director of Built Environment, said. “Even those that are currently in ‘negligible’ flood risk areas should consider making a flood plan as their ‘risk’ could change in the near future.”
The organisation says that, like health and safety or fire evacuation plans, a flood plan needs to be a written document that outlines how householders or businesses will respond to a flood, starting with ensuring that people have suitable temporary flood protection materials.
“These include door and window guards and watertight air brick covers to act as flood barriers, together with large sturdy purpose-made plastic containers to protect goods/furniture,” Cripps advises. “If you are a business, it’s worth listing the location of such materials in your plan, as well as details of where the taps for your gas, electricity and water are.”
RICS also recommends that important contacts such as local authority emergency services, insurance companies and relevant tradesmen or building services should be included in the flood plan, too. In addition, businesses should list their suppliers’ details to notify in the event of a flood and evacuation contacts, particularly for staff that may need special assistance exiting a flooded building.
“Those in flood risk areas need to make flood resilient measures a priority in their plan too; these include ensuring walls, floors, service intakes and drains are upgraded to protect a property from flooding and make it easier to clean and dry out in the event of any floodwater entering,” Cripps concluded.