One of the world’s leading insurance companies believes almost half of London’s businesses are now at risk from flash flooding.
Zurich Insurance says flash floods could swamp 42% of the 301,000 commercial buildings in the capital with 33,200 commercial basements especially at risk.
A report in Insurance Business UK reveals that research has discovered the area in London most vulnerable is Kensington and Chelsea with 63% of its commercial properties in danger from flash flooding.
Other high risks boroughs include Hammersmith and Fulham at 56%, Merton and Southwark at 54% and Wandsworth at 53%.
Zurich’s regional major loss property claims manager Paul Redington said London business owners need to prepare their own anti-flooding protection as the risk of flash flooding is here to stay.
He warned: “Flooding now poses a serious threat to the capital’s homes and businesses, especially after the severe heatwave we have experienced in recent weeks. More frequent and severe rainstorms could be the new normal in coming years.”
And, contrary to popular belief, local councils have no responsibility to provide sandbags.
The Environment Agency states: “Don’t assume the authorities will provide you with sandbags in a flood emergency. It’s the responsibility of property owners to take appropriate action to protect their property from flooding. Sandbags are relatively ineffective when compared with purpose-built flood protection products. We strongly encourage people to use these products.”
Some councils now realise that FloodSax environmentally friendly alternative sandbags are so versatile - they can be used indoors too in their dry state to soak up leaks, spills and floods - that they recommend them.
Many businesses have their computer servers and other vital equipment in cooler places in buildings such as in basements. FloodSax have been used to keep floodwater from damaging servers in the past – if they are damaged then the entire business grinds to a halt and the repair cost could be colossal.
Zurich has drawn up five ways owners can protect their businesses from flash flooding when storms are predicted:
For more information on FloodSax and how versatile and multi-purpose these alternative sandbags can be, go to http://www.floodsax.co.uk/