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Building resilience against flood risks for sports facilities

Climate change is set to result in the UK experiencing more extreme weather, including an increase in rainfall and, consequently, flooding. If you manage a sports club, it’s crucial that you’re aware of the potential risks from flooding and take necessary precautions to safeguard yourself and your property.

In Marsh Sport’s first article for our Flood risk mitigation series, we explore why preparation is crucial against this threat and the steps organisations can take to build resilience against flood risks for sports facilities.

The growing threat of flooding

Recent floods in the UK have highlighted the growing impact of climate change. As ‘extreme rainfall events’ are projected to increase, it’s likely that flooding becomes a more frequent risk. The annual cost of flood damage across the UK is estimated to be around £1.4 billion.

Preparation is critical for facilities and clubs based in areas susceptible to flooding. Proactive mitigation of this threat can help minimise the potential impacts from future flooding and protect your property against long-term damage. The unpredictability of weather patterns requires constant vigilance against the danger of flooding. Therefore, you should also be mindful of this threat in areas that are not known to pose a flood risk.

Flooding can cause significant damage to buildings, infrastructure, and the environment – leading to significant disruption. It’s important to stay informed about flood warnings, develop evacuation procedures and establish a club flood plan for your sports ground or facility. You should also consider flood protection products, like flood insurance, to mitigate financial losses. Many sports facilities consider using flood resilient designs for any new projects and resistant and resilient repair for existing facilities.

Key steps for preparing and protecting clubs and facilities against flooding

There are numerous preventative measures to protect your club and build resilience against potential storms and flooding. These include:

  • Signing up to flood warnings via the website and review the latest information about flooding from the environment agency.
  • Placing a copy of important telephone numbers and policy documents in a safe and easy to find place. Insurance documents and contacts for electricity and water suppliers are important to have to hand.
  • If there is risk of flood, ensure that essentials, such as buckets, sandbags, spades, wellies, bottled water, gloves, and other protective clothing are in an accessible area at all times.
  • Laying sandbags at entry points as a first line of defence to prevent water getting in during flooding.
  • Switching off electricity and gas supplies.
  • Moving as much machinery, equipment, furniture, and other items as possible upstairs as soon as a flood alert is raised. If certain items are unmovable, lifting them onto blocks or bricks to minimise damage.
  • Leaving internal doors open.
  • Do not consume mains drinking water due to possible contamination.

Next steps

Preparation is crucial for any sports club or sporting organisation to negate the threat of flooding. Building resilience into your facilities can lessen damage and minimise losses. Marsh’s 10 top tips for preparing and responding to flooding in the UK can provide further help on building flood resilience.

The next part of Marsh Sport's Flood risk mitigation series will focus on the role of insurance in mitigation, how to recover from a flood safely, and how to claim in the event of experiencing flooding. For additional discussion or guidance on how to mitigate flooding risks, please reach out to your Marsh adviser.