Assessing the flood situation
Are you affected?
a) Directly – my business is not operational due to flood/weather damage
Your first priority is to contact any customers that have booked, advise them of your situation and offer them alternatives or refunds (see Communicating with your customers).
Your second priority is to assess your business (both in terms of damage and cash flow/future financial planning). Immediate issues around repairs and maintenance are critical, as is ensuring that your business can communicate with the outside world.
Some of the following factors may indirectly impact on your business:
- Can customers get to you (are they stranded in flooded areas, or do they have to travel through flooded areas to reach you)?
- Are public transport facilities fully operational?
- (Don’t assume that visitors know the geography of your destination – media reporting is often very broad – ‘floods in the South West’ implies most of the region is affected rather than specific locations).
- Are attractions and other local facilities that your customers are likely to use still open?
- Are your suppliers still able to provide you with the products and services you need?
- Are your staff affected and are they able to get to work?
- If destinations near to you are affected by the extreme weather, how is this being reported - are people being advised to stay away?
Knowing how you could be affected will help you to identify how you need to respond to the situation.
Note that sometimes the situation may not seem serious – in some instances a regular assessment of a developing situation is required. It is important that you keep up-to-date with the news, both locally and nationally and through any social media routes which you can access.
Sources of information
To answer some of these questions you will need to establish the situation and know what you (and your immediate location) are facing. This will help you when you are communicating the urgency of the situation both to customers and to those who you are contacting in respect of repairs and maintenance.
If you have a local business organisation, destination management organisation (DMO), business improvement district or chamber of commerce, they may have made an assessment of the local situation from a business/tourism perspective and may have plans in place.
Monitor the Environment Agency updates, local weather reports and keep an eye on travel information through the following sites:
Other sections in the 'Dealing with floods' toolkit
Working with others during a flood event
Who you should contact locally and what you need to find out.
Communicating with customers during a flood
A six-step guide to keeping in touch with your customers and being pro-active in your communications.
Cancellations and refunds due to flooding
Your legal rights if you have to cancel bookings due to flooding.
Addressing the future impact of flooding
Guidance on mitigating the future impact of flooding on your business.
Returning to normal after flooding
It is important to keep your website and customers up to date.
Actions to take when dealing with flooding
A summary of what you should do during and after a flood event.
Further support for dealing with flooding
Where to go for further help, including any funding schemes available.