During the winter of 2015, several Sainsbury’s stores flooded as storms raged across the UK. Following the storms, Sainsbury’s began flood risk analysis of all its supermarkets and convenience stores to identify stores at risk and install flood mitigation options, thereby minimising damage from future flooding. About 130 stores were at risk from flooding.
RSK provided its vast range of multidisciplinary services to a series of flood risk appraisals. The objective was to determine the likelihood of flooding at each store and suggest possible mitigation methods. Working with Sainsbury’s, RSK categorised stores according to their level of flooding risk and detailed mitigation options for each category.
Stores at high risk would be fitted with demountable defences, which, when mounted on doorways and access points, could protect the store from 600 mm of floodwater. If flooding exceeded 600 mm, store personnel would initiate flood warnings and evacuation plans to raise stock out of harm’s way.
For low-risk stores, a reactive approach could be taken. In the event of flooding, temporary sandbags or flood sacks could be used to stem the water flooding the store. No action was necessary for stores at minimal risks and unlikely to benefit from mitigation measures.