How to Ensure Your Sports Club is Prepared in the Event of a Flood

By Marsh

Posted 29/12/17

With at least one major flood every year since 1998 [1], flooding is the most common natural disaster affecting the United Kingdom [2]. The floods of 2015 caused billions of pounds of damage across the North of England, Scotland and Wales [3] and in some cases caused significant damage to buildings and machinery in sports clubs as well as depositing waste and sediment on pitches. It’s not just major flooding that has the potential to impact clubs, regular flooding can also cause damage to outdoor playing fields and storage sheds, so it’s important that you are prepared should a flood happen in your area [4].  

Be Prepared With Advanced Flood Warnings

If your club is based in England, you may find the Government’s website a useful tool in keeping an eye on local flood warnings. You can sign up to receive these warnings by email, text or phone alert, helping to make sure that you know about a likely flood as early as possible so you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself [5]. There are separate initiatives for clubs based in Scotland or Wales, and a flood map for Northern Ireland.

Make Sure You Have Adequate Insurance

Many clubs faced significant damage after the heavy floods of 2015 and businesses across the UK faced financial difficultly due to inadequate insurance [6]. In addition to the costs involved with damaged stock, most clubs will experience a loss of earnings through temporary closure while cleaning up the damage [7], which some insurance packages do take into consideration. The best way to ensure you are adequately protected is to call up and speak to someone who can take you through the process with your particular business in mind, rather than choosing a product on price alone [8] or just renewing whatever was put in place last year .  If you would like to speak to member of the Marsh team about flood insurance please call 0207 760 8972.

Protect Your Business

If your club is located in an area that is prone to flooding there are measures you can take to protect it. Recommendations for protecting indoor areas include:  purpose-built flood boards that can be put up if a flood is imminent; sealing floors to avoid water seeping in through the ground; fitting non-return valves on drains as well as inlet and outlet water pipes; raising all shelves, electrical sockets, fuse boxes and wires to above 1.5 metres; and storing a pump on the lowest level of the building to help remove water when needed [9]. It’s also important that staff members are trained and aware of the flood plan (see below).

Create a Flood Plan

With preparation, it is estimated that businesses could save between 20 and 90% of their stock and movable equipment, be better protected financially and keep people safe [10]. So creating a plan can help you take the best course of action in the event of a flood. This plan must be agreed by club membership as early as possible to ensure decisions can be made quickly and that your club is prepared to safely evacuate all members, guests and staff.  This plan should identify any areas of risk and map out who is responsible for what. It must also include a list of important contacts; a guide outlining exactly what action to take in the lead up to, and during the flood; a description and map of key property, shut off points and protective materials; as well as a strategy for protecting property, preventing further disruption and helping with recovery. There is a useful template for designing a flood plan on the Sport England website [11].

After the Flood

Contact your insurer as soon as possible and ensure that you do not throw anything away before the loss adjuster has seen it. There may be dangers after the flood so approach the area with caution. Heavy items such as trees and machinery may need to be cleared before the area is safe;  roads, pitches and walkways may be damaged; and  the sediment left behind by the flood could contain harmful bacteria such as E.Coli and salmonella [12].

Visit the Sport England website for further information on remaining safe and protecting your business during a flood. If you would like to discuss flood insurance please call a member of the Marsh team on 0207 760 8972.

Protect yourself further, find out more about the sports club insurance policies we offer.

Sources

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/410606/LIT_5284.pdf

[2]https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/26/major-flooding-in-uk-now-likely-every-year-warns-lead-climate-adviser-storm-desmond

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/26/major-flooding-in-uk-now-likely-every-year-warns-lead-climate-adviser-storm-desmond

[4] https://www.sportengland.org/facilities-planning/further-guidance/flood-guidance/

[5] https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/warnings

[6] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/28/uk-floods-costs-financial-ruin

 [7] https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2016/dec/26/floods-businesses-picked-up-pieces-north-england

[8] https://nationalfloodforum.org.uk/about-flooding/insurance/household-insurance/

[9] https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2016/dec/26/floods-businesses-picked-up-pieces-north-england

[10] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/410606/LIT_5284.pdf

 [11] https://www.sportengland.org/facilities-planning/further-guidance/flood-guidance/

 [12] https://www.sportengland.org/media/1036/after-the-flood-pitches-and-courts.pdf

 


Posted 29/12/17

Author: Marsh

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