Floods highlight the need for firms to have recovery plan
THE FLOODS which brought chaos to parts of Yorkshire in December demonstrated the importance of contingency planning and disaster recovery, according to a leading property lawyer.
Kevin Weston, a partner and head of the property team at Ward Hadaway in Leeds, said that the destruction and disruption caused by the flooding across the region brought home to many companies why taking precautions and planning for the worst is an important part of business life.
Mr Weston made the comments as the build- up continues to the Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50, the annual run- down of the fastest growing privately owned companies in Yorkshire which Ward Hadaway organises in association with The Yorkshire
Mr Weston, who has more than 25 years’ experience advising on property issues, said: “In general terms, when a company is looking for premises, it is important to carry out a long- term risk assessment of the potential property, looking at its location in terms of proximity to rivers and other watercourses and the flood risk profile of the area.
“Of course, this isn’t always straightforward – one of the features of the most recent flooding to hit Yorkshire was the fact that many properties suffered from flood damage despite being some distance from major watercourses.
“It is also important to stress that urban locations can be just as badly affected as those in more rural areas – you only have to look back at what happened in cities like Leeds and York to see that.
“As a result, whilst it makes sense to carry out due diligence on a property’s susceptibility to flooding, that is not a guarantee premises will not be affected by the effects of prolonged heavy rain. This makes having a com- prehensive and workable disaster recovery plan a real must for all businesses, not least the kind of fast- growing, ambitious companies such as those found in the Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50.”
Ideally, disaster recovery plans should cater for a wide range of scenarios and the prevalence of flooding in recent years means dealing
with such a situation is a key part of any plan.
He added: “There is a lot to consider when faced with such scenarios, but proper planning is much more than just a box- ticking exercise.
“While even the best prepared businesses are sometimes helpless in the face of nature, they are the ones more likely to bounce back from such serious setbacks.”
The Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 2016 Awards take place at Aspire Leeds on Friday, March 18 when awards will be given to the fastest growing small, medium- sized and large privatelyowned businesses in Yorkshire with one of those winners going on to be crowned the overall fastest growing business.