Protecting Your Business from the Next Storm
We all know the damage powerful storms can cause. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety reports that one in four businesses never open again after 24 hours of closure in the wake of a natural disaster. To keep your business from becoming a statistic, consider these tips:
Count on power outages—possibly for long stretches of time. Count on trees blocking roads and even bureaucratic tape blocking progress following a major storm. Consider a plan that allows you or your business to work remotely or in another location. That way, you'll be able to keep the most critical operations of your business up and running to meet your customers’ expectations.
Make Sure Your Business Stays Powered Up, Before the Power Goes Down
Since no one wants their business to skip a beat before, during or after a disaster, invest in generators now. They will keep the lights and computers on, your refrigerated or frozen items cold, and your staff more comfortable—all of which will help keep your business in business. There's a lot that goes into purchasing and installing generators to ensure they don't cause more harm than good (think carbon monoxide emissions).
Practice Makes Perfect
Once you've got a disaster plan in place, run through it with your staff. Make sure all your employees know what their roles are, whether it's keeping the business working or staying in touch during a disaster. Then provide a feedback outlet for their comments and experiences after the fact.
Channel the Weatherman
Never take the warnings the National Weather Service for granted before a storm. Listen up and move your entire important inventory, records and equipment away from windows, basements and crawl spaces before flood season arrives. Also, think about rechecking your gutters, redirecting downspouts away from the building if needed and install proper shutters or plywood. This way when the storm comes, you can focus on getting everyone out if evacuation orders are given.
Build for Survival
High profile disasters underscore a few facts about what's needed to recover from devastation. First, the likelihood of flooding is obviously higher the closer your business is to a body of water. Only building elevated structures that meet FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Institute's standards will help ease the risk of flood.
Keep an Eye on Your Roof
Your roof takes a beating every day in normal weather, and it's your first line of defense during harsh weather. Have the roof inspected regularly and make needed repairs. Eventually, every roof requires replacing, so take care of that before storm season hits.