Flooding advice. Before, during and after

Businesses: flooding advice

Prepare and plan

Use GOV.UK's guidance to help prepare your business for flooding. Their guidance includes:
  • actions that you can take to make sure that your business is well prepared for flooding
  • how to find out if your business is at risk, the Environment Agency’s flood warning service and what our flood warning codes mean
  • a template flood plan for your company

During and after flooding

When cleaning up after flood water:
  • try to avoid contact with flood water
  • wear protective clothing including rubber gloves, wellingtons, overalls etc
  • avoid ingesting any water
  • wash hands thoroughly and regularly with hot water and liquid anti‐bacterial soap
  • do not use any electrical equipment or circuits until they've been checked and declared safe by a qualified electrician
  • if the power supply is off, assess the risk to your staff and customers and consider closing the business
  • do not use internal lifts until power supplies are back to normal (you could be stuck in the lift if the power supply is interrupted)
  • use specialist detergents when cleaning up petrol or oil and follow safety information from the manufacturer
  • open windows and doors when clearing up petrol or oil
  • don't go into any confined spaces (such as cellars) where there is known petrol or oil contamination
If your food business has been flooded:
  • do not reopen until  you have cleaned everything thoroughly  
  • clean and disinfect work surfaces, plates, pans, cutlery, plastic or ceramic chopping boards etc before using them with food
  • if you have a working dishwasher, use this to clean and sanitise smaller items, or use a suitable disinfectant
  • throw away wooden chopping boards and wooden spoons if they've been touched by flood water
  • clean and disinfect the inside of your fridge and food cupboards if they've been touched by flood water
  • don't use work surfaces, plates etc if they are badly chipped or damaged
  • throw away any food that has been touched or covered by flood water or sewage
  • when throwing away food, make sure it's double‐bagged and put in a sealed container so it doesn't attract pests
  • contact your commercial waste contractor to arrange collection of food in the normal way
  • if the tap water could be contaminated, boil and cool it before using it to wash food that won’t be cooked, such as fruit or salad
  • if your fridge has not been working for more than four hours, throw away the food inside
  • if your freezer has not been working, throw away any meat, fish or dairy products, or foods containing these, if they have started to go soft
  • if your freezer has not been working, throw away any food that you would eat frozen, eg ice cream
  • if you are unable to keep high‐risk food under adequate temperature control you must close your business
  • don't use any electrical items or circuits as they could be dangerous
  • circuits and electrical equipment must be checked by a qualified electrician before use