When a town or area gets hit by a flood the damage can run far deeper than that inflicted by the water and what is left behind. While the clean up operations are painful and costly it is often the ongoing damage to the local economy and the businesses effected that is the real issue.
Flooding and Business
There is no doubt extreme weather has the ability to stop business in its tracks. This goes for most businesses in the area that are directly hit by the physical aspect of the flooding but also those reliant on tourism or business trade coming into the area. In some cases a flood can actually cause a business to close down because of the immediate and costly hit of damage, loss of stock, loss of business and things like increased insurance premiums.
Tourism and Perception
One aspect of flooding that can have a huge effect on businesses related to tourism is the perception of the damage. The impression of a town or area once it has been flooded can not only cause enormous damage to local businesses it can also be highly over stated. It is often the case that the public’s perception of the reach and effect of the flooding is far worse than the reality and as such they choose to stay away when much of the area is still accessible and enjoyable.
It is, regrettably, quite often the media that precipitates an inflated impression of flood damage because it makes for great website traffic and TV viewers. People may cancel holidays because they see footage of a flooded street when the reality is that the beach and promenade are still there to be enjoyed, or the area they have booked to stay in is unaffected. The idea that roads will be closed and the local area will fall into disarray is too often incorrect.
Make a Plan
Any business in a flood risk area should have a detailed plan in place to communicate with customers to inform them of the situation. Social media is a great way to the “business as usual” message across. But it is also important to call and speak to people who may have booked to come for a stay and explain carefully which areas are not affected. This kind of process may well save enough business to make all the difference. Pulling businesses together to communicate this information can also help.