Preparing your business for a storm

Bad weather causes significant cost to UK businesses every year, and the most extreme weather events – especially powerful windstorms – can cause extensive damage to buildings and other property .

A little bit of planning and preparation can go a long way to protecting your business against the damage caused by all types of storms. Here's our list of tips for minimising the risk:

Man with umbrella

Things you can do now

  • Keep gutters, drainpipes and drains clear of blockages - this will make sure rainwater has somewhere to go, and is less likely to build into a flood
  • Check any roofs for signs of aging like cracks or tiles out of alignment, and look out for any obvious damage to chimney stacks - especially if they’re tall. If in doubt, speak to an expert such as a building surveyor
  • Check the condition of trees close to your business and consider removing any that could potentially fall into buildings or vehicles if blown down. Remove any branches that have grown close to buildings - if in doubt, speak to a tree surgeon. If trees are on public land or subject to a preservation order, you’ll need to speak to the local council
  • Make sure all fixtures around your premises, such as fences and any sheds or storage facilities, are in good condition and securely fastened down. Often these aren’t covered by insurance policies and they can cause damage to other property if they come loose in high winds
  • If your business is located in a low-lying or coastal area, you may be at risk of coastal or flash flooding when a storm hits. Storms can cause sea levels to rise - an effect known as a storm surge - while heavy rainfall can cause rivers to burst their banks. Read more about protecting your business against floods here

What to do when a storm is forecast

  • Inform any staff of the weather warning, and consider advising them not to travel if possible
  • Secure any loose exterior objects, such as free-standing signage or awnings for example
  • Close and securely fasten doors and windows - don't forget to bolt any garage doors too
  • Try to keep internal doors - including loft access doors and skylight windows - closed
  • Park any vehicles in a garage if available, or park away from large trees

If you’re a Swinton customer and need to make a claim, visit Or, if you want to know more about our business insurance policies visit


Published: 8th February 2017


More business storm guides: