Flood Risk Management Software Application for Sainsbury’s Supermarkets

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets are a national supermarket retailer. The company has over 1,400 locations distributed across the United Kingdom. The geographical position of each location is subject to different levels of risk of flooding from rivers and seas and risk of flooding from surface water, ranging from negligible to very high risk levels. In December 2015, during a period of sustained flooding in the North of England, three Sainsbury’s Supermarket locations, Carlisle, Lancaster and Tadcaster were catastrophically flooded and commercially non-functioning for a number of weeks.

The flooding of an individual location creates immediate costs derived from loss of trading and loss of stock, further costs come with the necessary clean up in the aftermath and then longer term costs evolve as retrospective flood mitigation activity takes place. There are also wider issues to consider, such as the public perception of the company in managing a crisis situation.


Effective management of Flood Risk requires an understanding of both the enduring risk to individual locations and the rapid identification and continual assessment of dynamic flood situations as they evolve. A mature, detailed understanding of enduring flood risk provides a Company with the knowledge and rationale of what long term flood risk management activities to undertake and where. Dynamic flood risk management puts timely and accurate information in front of decision makers to make crisis management decisions, such as whether or not to close a store or to deploy emergency flood protection measures.

Stonehaven Technology recognised that any solution for Sainsbury’s would have to integrate seamlessly with the existing facilities management contract and differing levels of Sainsbury’s management. Specialist knowledge would be required to identify how best to mitigate long term flood risk, whilst verifying and integrating numerous sources of accurate flood related information was key to achieving dynamic flood risk management. The notable changes in the frequency and intensity of rainfall, also created requirements for integration of weather observations and forecasts. 

The Flood Risk Management Software provides the following key features:

 Automated identification of levels of risk from rivers and seas for individual locations.

 Automated identification of levels of surface water for individual locations.

 Guidelines of locations for the deployment of emergency flood equipment at asset locations.

 Geospatial extent of all business locations and parameters, across the United Kingdom.

 Analyse and manage all flood mitigation activity, from type to costs at individual locations.

 Integration of existing Flood Surveyor reports for specific locations.

 Historical Flood dataset of Recorded Flood Outlines detailing flood events at individual locations back to 1703. 

 Integration of flood warning information issued by the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales.

 Integration of Ordnance Survey Open Rivers dataset of over 144,000 km of watercourses, combined with the integration of over 1,400 Environment Agency River Gauges and their outputs at 15 minute intervals.

 Integration of selected UK Meteorological Office Weather Stations, with weather observations integrated every hour and weather forecasts integrated every three hours, up to five days ahead. 

 Integration of Social Media sources and functionality to manage and search information produced by Social Media.

 Integration with existing systems of an organisation through the means of an API.


Stonehaven Technology have developed a truly comprehensive flood risk management application, enabling Sainsbury’s to plan confidently for the long term management of flood risk and know that a range of verified, critical information sources will be available come a dynamic flood risk situation. Critical management decisions can be made on a best informed basis and in a timely manner. Identified high risk of flooding stores are receiving long term flood mitigation investment, whilst pro-active measures are also taking place to enable stores to respond more dynamically to evolving flood risk situations. Across the management structure of Sainsbury’s and their facilities management company, there is a new preparedness for the challenges of extreme weather.

Visit Stonehaven Technology at Flood Expo at stand F774