The government has launched a new action plan and web portal to help businesses in flood risk areas install resilience measures to protect themselves from future flooding.
The Property Flood Resilience Action Plan outlines how homeowners and businesses can better protect themselves from flooding and recover more quickly if the worst happens.
The widespread flooding experienced across the north in December 2015 affected around 4,000 businesses, with some 700 still not fully operational.
The government has committed £2.5 billion to pay for 1,500 new flood defence schemes to better protect properties in future.
However, the action plan argues that property-level measures also have a valuable role to play and businesses are encouraged to invest in their own defences.
Property-level resilience measures can help to prevent flood water ingress and aid rapid recovery without the need for wholesale replacement of fabric or the property itself. However, take up of such measures remains low.
Floods minister, Therese Coffey, said: “Making properties more resilient to flooding can be hugely beneficial to individuals, families and businesses. Too often people are unaware of where to go for advice, the products that exist and the benefits that they can provide.”
A ‘one-stop shop’ web portal has been made available to provide advice and support to help businesses and homeowners take action.
The website includes information on precautionary actions to protect properties, actions to take when in imminent danger, information on live flood warning, and recent case studies and research.
A separate guide has also been launched by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). The guide helps to explain the flood resistant measures and materials available to businesses and homeowners.
Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, added: “No one body or organisation can reduce risk entirely, and people need to be aware of the risk they are facing, sign up for warnings and take steps to protect themselves.
“We know there are challenges as to why these measures have not been taken up, but working with members of the insurance industry and our partners, we want to empower people to take up measures that can help them address the impact that flooding has on their lives and livelihoods.”