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How An Emergency Warehouse Can Help After Floods

In days of yore, the biggest problem many warehouses faced was snow. Notorious winters like 1946-47 and 1962-63 saw very cold weather and loads of snow for weeks on end, hampering distribution and storage as roads were blocked and premises snowed in.

Now, a warmer climate means snow is an occasional feature of the season and, instead, there are more storms. More notably, every climate scientist will tell you the first consequence of global heating is more evaporation, which means increased precipitation.

This has been evident in recent months as the UK has been hit by no fewer than ten named storms from last September onwards, and winter is not finished yet. Expect Storm Kathleen to show up soon, and others to follow.

Warehouses, like any other building, can be hit hard by high winds and extreme events like a tornado of the kind that devastated a street in the Greater Manchester town of Stalybridge as Storm Gerrit struck shortly after Christmas. But the most widespread threat to properties and everything inside them comes from floods.

Several of the recent storms have brought extremely heavy rain and flooding in many parts of the country. Some of these are places where flooding is normal; the sight of Worcestershire’s County Cricket Ground at New Road in Worcester underwater is an annual spectacle and nobody would want to locate a warehouse there.

However, many of these floods are getting worse. Events described as one in 25 years, or 50, or even a century are happening with increasing regularity and that means places that would normally have been safe and dry even ten years ago are now increasingly at risk.

While the long-term solution may be to build warehouses on higher ground (where available) or undertake major flood defence schemes (always more viable with large distribution centres that are owned by large firms with the money to invest in such things), for some, the best response right now is to seek temporary warehouse space where items can be moved.

This kind of measure may also be useful when a warehouse is damaged by debris or roof damage, not to mention another consequence of a more volatile climate - hotter summers.

In 2022, the first-ever temperatures of 40 C in the UK were recorded, with many fires occurring in the heatwave. This included the destruction of much of the village of Wennington on the edge of London as the London Fire Brigade endured its busiest day since the Second World War.

Those fires, like many that can occur during dry periods, are not blazes that start in buildings but on tinder-dry open land due to carelessness such as discarded cigarettes or people using disposable barbecues. Since many warehouses are close to open fields, this is an obvious threat.

Of course, warehouses can also be affected by internal fires or other unexpected calamities, but by hiring temporary warehousing space, you can ensure that your company is able to keep goods safe and also manage business continuity in times of sudden calamity.


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