Is your business ready for the extreme weather?
Last year the UK experienced weather from 30 degree heat in summer, winds of 55mph during Storm Darcey in Autumn and severe flooding from November 2019 to February 2020, with February being the wettest February since records began in 1766.
With more and more extreme weather becoming a common occurrence in the UK, many business owners still don’t have anything in place to protect their business.
Only 25% of SMEs have a business continuity plan that considers climate change risks and only 18% of businesses have any resilience measures in place to protect their premises.
How to protect your business from extreme weather this year?
Add Flood Resistance Measures
If you’re in a flood risk area, near a lake or in the last year have been affected by the heavy rainfall, it might be worth investing in flood resistant measures.
A flood can affect your stock, assets and property (water damage to the building) and if you have a shop, café or a business that is open to the public, you may have to shut until the damages have been fixed.
Investing in flood resistant measures may save your business quite a lot of money in the long run. Some examples are flood barriers, sealing weep holes and service entries, air brick covers, floor membrane, injected damp proof course and non-return valves.
Be prepared for the heatwave
The chance of a heatwave coming to the UK each year is going to very likely. In July 2020, the highest temperature recorded for the country was 37.8 degrees, making it the 3rd hottest day ever recorded for the UK. Whilst this year, we experienced scorching temperatures of 30 degrees for weeks. With climate change, we’re only going to experience hotter days in the next few years.
With the increase in hot weather, it might be time to invest in air conditioning units for your business. The heat isn’t going anywhere so whilst it’s winter, it might be a good time to install air conditioning units to benefit you, your employees and customers.
Alternatively, if you own a restaurant, bakery or café you might want to look at different ventilation options to keep the kitchen cooler for your employees or look to purchase more refrigeration and freezer units. If you deliver any of your products, do you have a refrigeration van to prevent your stock from going bad or melting before their desired destination?
Is your business premise due any upgrades?
If you’re planning on completing any building work to your premise or storage unit, is there any way that you can corporate any weather protection measures into your building work?
For example, you can add flood barriers to decrease the chances of any water getting into your building. It might be worth adding shelving so that any expensive stock or assets aren’t left on the floor to get damaged.
You can also put in storm protection measures in such as shutters for your windows for when there are strong winds, replace any broken gutting and check that its clear to prevent an overflow of rain flow and so the water leads to a drainage system.
You should also check the existing building and see if it needs any repairs such as the conditions of the roof tiles, if you have a chimney is it still stable and secure, is there any trees or branches near your building that can cause a problem (maybe worth cutting any long branches back).
Make your business energy efficient
Extreme weather is coming about due to climate change so to help towards the battle of climate change you can make your business more energy efficient.
Some small changes that you can do around your business are switching to LED light bulbs, going paperless, reusing and recycling any old furniture or purchasing second hand furniture, adding renewable energy sources such as solar panels and switching to more energy efficient IT and office equipment.
Double check your insurance policy
When was the last time you checked your business insurance policy? It might be worth adding flood insurance to your policy to ensure that you’re protected. Flood cover doesn’t usually come as standard for a business or property insurance.
As well as flooding, it might be worth looking into what type of cover that you have in place in the event of a storm.
Diversify your business and take advantage of the extreme weather
Extreme weather is something that can’t be changed now. If we were to stop burning all the fossil fuels today, it will take decades for us to see any benefits.
The UK now receives more sun during the summer with the warmer weather starting in May whereas before it was usually the middle of June – you could install solar panels to produce your own electricity to power your lights and outlets in your business.
If you have the space, you could add an outdoor area for your customers to enjoy in the summer and will allow you to accommodate more customers as well.
If you’re a construction business and you have extra storage space, could you rent your storage space out to other businesses as a secure and weather-proof location for them to store their assets and stock?
If you’re looking to weather proof your business and looking for a finance facility to spread the cost out, why not speak to a member of our team?