UK business warned to plan for rising waters


UK business warned to plan for rising waters

Warwick Ashford

UK national and local authorities should ensure businesses are better equipped to deal with the increasing threat of flooding.

A review led by Michael Pitt following last years severe floods said that the risk continued to escalate. He urged authorities to improve resilience in the UK.

Flooding is one of the fastest growing threats to business continuity. A report by IT security supplier SunGard Availability Services shows that the proportion of flooding incidents had quadrupled in the past five years compared with the period from 1998 to 2002.

The Pitt review calls for UK authorities to ensure their business continuity planning conforms to the guidelines set by the BS25999 British Standard.

The review says government should extend the duty to undertake business continuity planning beyond local authorities and emergency services to include utility suppliers.

It also recommends that as part of their obligations under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 to promote business continuity, local authories should encourage businesses to make their buildings more resistant to flooding.

The review highlighted criticism from business that they were not given enough advance flood warning from authorities.

Pitt recommends that the government implements telephone flood warning systems and sets up a campaign to provide flood prevention and mitigation advice.

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