Flooding can severely impact a business causing disruption, damage to property, and destruction of stock.

As many as 5.2 million properties are at risk of flooding in England with annual flood damage costing in the region of £1.1 billion.

Lorna Kercher is the Chair of the charity Howard Garden Social Centre whose premises in Letchworth were badly flooded last summer.

She said: “The flooding we suffered had a lasting impact on our organisation. You just don’t expect it to happen to you. Thankfully all of the community pitched in and supported us but that isn’t the case for every organisation.

Dealing with the insurance and arranging repairs is a lengthy and stressful process. It took months for us to get back to normal and that was with help.”

“After receiving advice from the county council we have now built flood defences to protect us in future. I would advise everyone to check if you are at risk of flooding and take action and reduce your risk of flooding.”

Hertfordshire County Council does not provide residents or businesses with sandbags or other products to protect private properties from flooding but there are number of things you can do to protect yourself and your property from flooding.

There is advice and information on how people can help themselves on the county council’s website at www.hertsdirect.org/flooding, including a link to a flood risk map, where you can find out if there is a risk to your business.

Richard Thake, Hertfordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “I understand that when you’re busy at work, planning for a flood may be the last thing on your mind. However, although the risk may seem small the potential damage caused by flooding could be absolutely devastating.”

“We want Hertfordshire to continue to be a county where businesses thrive. Part of my job is ensuring that our business community is resilient to unforeseen events but there is a limit to the support we can provide. We work with our partners to prevent flooding where possible but we cannot stop all flooding and it’s important to consider how a flood could affect you. Ask yourself, what if my premises were flooded? How would I cope? Make a plan and take steps to protect your business.

In the event of an emergency, if flooding is causing a risk to life call the emergency services on 999.

If your business is susceptible to river flooding call Floodline: 0845 988 1188.