Four tips to help you prepare your business premises ahead of 100mph Storm Eunice

It’s common for the UK to experience severe weather, especially during the colder months. Whether it’s snow, heavy rain, or strong winds, stormy conditions can cause problems for your business and damage your premises.

Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, one of the UK’s largest providers of small business insurance, shares his tips on how to prepare and limit damage, plus what to do when severe weather hits. The tips are also broken down by the type of weather:

1) How to prepare for heavy rain

You can protect your customers by buying a slipmat to put in the doorway, helping to prevent slips and falls. It’s best to keep the floor dry and clean.

It is important to check that your property can withstand heavy rainfall. This includes checking guttering for any loose connections, making sure the guttering is free from leaves or moss, checking the sealant around doors and windows for any cracks as well as making sure that there aren’t any obvious holes or gaps in the brickwork

2) What to do in the event of a flood

Heavy rain can often cause flooding so make sure your equipment, stock and everything else in your premises is protected from damage. Take valuable items from the floor and move them upstairs and if you can, then move your stock from the floor to higher ground too.

Another tip is to place sandbags and other flood defences outside on any opening to the property, from doorways to conservatories. Stack the sandbags one on top of the other (but usually no more than three layers in height, which is around 30 cm tall)

3) How to prepare for high winds

If safe to do so, make sure you complete a visual inspection of the premises by checking that doors, windows, guttering and roof are all in good working order. Furthermore, if you notice anything out of the ordinary you should reach out to a local tradesperson straight away – to avoid any future severe problems.

To prevent any injuries, be sure to cover and secure any loose outside items to avoid them moving around. Purchasing some draught excluders to insulate the property and prevent doors and windows from rattling, can also be helpful in the event of high winds.

It is important to remember that fences and outside items will not be covered as part of an insurance policy.

4) What to do if snow hits

Snow and ice can be extremely hazardous so it is crucial to identify any problems before they become severe – including inspecting the roof and gutters.

When snow hits, the weight of it can cause irreparable damage to existing problems. An effective way of getting ahead of the weather is to grit pathways and car parks with rock salt before snowfall – avoiding slips and falls. Rock salt can make the pathways easier to grip and walk on, even if they’re already snowy or icy.

Another task to tick off, is making sure pipes are insulated and your boiler needs to be serviced to make sure they can withstand the freezing weather. If you rent your business premises, find out whether this is your landlord’s responsibility or yours. In addition, find out where the stopcock is, in the event you need to turn the water supply off.