How to deal with flooding

Flooding can threaten the safety of people and cause significant damage. Alerts are issued by the Environment Agency and may be relayed by CPC.

But it is possible a flood could occur with no warning. Remember that the safety of yourself, your people and any customers and contractors must be the top priority before protecting vehicles or buildings.

Should you receive an alert follow the guidance listed below.

If people are at immediate risk phone the emergency services, then inform CPC and review your options for evacuation.

Flood Alerts

i. The environment agency issues flood alerts based on 3 levels of seriousness. Business locations can register for alerts by following the links at Flood warnings for England – GOV.UK: https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk

ii. General guidance is shown below for each type of alert.

iii. You should have recognised your vulnerability to flooding as part of your Stay Calm Unit Plan

Flood Alert - Prepare
  • What it means: Flooding is possible be prepared
  • When it’s used: Two hours to two days in advance of a possible flooding
  • What to do:
    1. Check local weather forecasts and alert systems.
    2. Consider the time frame of the threat and your unit opening hours and key operations. What issues could arise?
    3. Report the situation through to your line manager and discuss possible issues and out of hours contact arrangements.
    4. Brief your people accordingly.
    5. No further action is required unless a further alert is received.
Flood Warnings - Act

What it means: Flooding is expected – immediate action required.

When it’s used: Half an hour to one day in advance of flooding.

What to do:

  1. As per ‘Flood Alert – Prepare’ you need to understand where the threat is
    • In the area around your site – could there be access issues for both operational and staff vehicles. Do they need to take a revised route? What is your plan if your building is inaccessible?
    • In your yard? – you need to think about moving vehicles to higher land , especially if the unit may be closed when the flooding is expected.
    • Your building? – use your Stay Calm Unit Plan to remind yourself where the gas, electricity and water points are should you need to turn them off. Can this be done on site or remotely? Could simple preventative actions (eg basic sand bags) be effective. Contact the Group Property Helpdesk for advice.
  2. Monitor local weather conditions and talk through possible contingency actions with your line manager.
  3. Brief your people as required – remember that they nay be personally affected by flooding and may need advice and support.
  4. No further action is required unless you receive a further alert.
Severe Flood Warnings - Survive

What it means: Severe flooding has been forecasted with a possibility of Danger to life

When it’s used: When flooding poses a significant threat to life

What to do:

 

  1. Be prepared to implement an immediate evacuation, if you developed a flood plan at the “Flood warnings – Act” level” take action.
  2. Consider turning off gas, electricity and water supplies if safe to do so.
  3. Vehicles and mail should have been moved to a safe place, only do this now if it is safe to do so and there is time available.
  4. Seek support from line manager, Group Property Help Desk and CPC.
  5. Refer to the ‘Flooding’ section under Incident Specific for guidance should you need to evacuate the building.
  6. Remember that the Safety of yourself, your people and any customers or contractors on site must be the top priority before protecting vehicles or buildings.
  7. Brief your people as required. Remember that flooding in the area may be affecting them in other ways – see next step.
  8. If actual flooding occurs, report to CPC after ensuring the safety of the people involved.

Evacuation

If it is not safe to evacuate
  • Contact the emergency services, inform them of the situation and the number of people at site.
  • Inform CPC.
  • Muster people at a safe location and await instructions from the emergency services.
If safe to remain at your location
  • Continue to monitor evacuation and escape routes
  • Assess health implications for people and review SHE risk assessments with regards to any impact/hazards of the flood.
  • Make an assessment of any damage and report to the P&FS – National Service Centre.
  • Make arrangements to meet and manage any contractors
  • Assess operational impacts and make arrangements for contingency arrangements especially for priority products & contracts.
  • Report to your line manager & CPC

If evacuation is necessary refer to evacuation guidance on the page below:

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How to manage an evacuation

Standing the alert down

Standing the Alert down

The alerts will be updated which will indicate the offices which are no longer under threat. The PIC should know this as well through monitoring local weather reports.

Once the incident is over the PiC should conduct a  review, and seek to identify improvement opportunities and feed these into the office’s Stay Calm Unit Plan.

If there is flooding in the area then it will affect deliveries and collections as well. Discuss with line management and CPC the appropriate operational response.

The flooding in the area may be affecting your people personally; difficulty in getting to/ from work; schools may be closed at short notice; exceptionally homes may be flooded. Use standard HR advice to manage these situations or take advice from your line manager/ local HR Business Partner.

The alerts will be updated which will indicate the offices which are no longer under threat. The PIC should know this as well through monitoring local weather reports.

Once the incident is over the PiC should conduct a  review, and seek to identify improvement opportunities and feed these into the office’s Stay Calm Unit Plan.

If in doubt at any stage always call Central Postal Control (CPC)

Central Postal Control deals with issues on a regular basis and will be able to talk you through how to deal with any situation.