Running a business can feel like weathering a storm, even on the best of days. You often wear many hats and put out a ton of fires. You concern yourself with staffing, order supplies and inventory, watch over operations, keep an eye on the bottom line, do your absolute best to take care of your customers and then fall into bed at night and do it all again the next day. You also do your best to plan for the future and cover your bases in case the unexpected happens. But sometimes, despite our best-laid plans, disaster strikes. Do you have a plan to ensure your business’ continuity if storm damage requires storm repair or restoration to your property?
Severe storms often cause a multitude of problems including: injury to your staff or customers as well as storm-related damage to your buildings, vehicles, inventory, equipment and machinery. In addition to storm damage to your property, damaged roads and downed power lines can impair your staff’s ability to get safely to work as well as your vendors’ ability to deliver goods to you. A prolonged power outage may also result in the loss of perishable products and a paralyzing disruption in communications.
Storm repair and restoration will be essential if your business suffers damage from a weather-related disaster. This creates a double-whammy of unexpected cash going out without the anticipated cash flow coming in. How can you prepare your business in the event of storm damage? Develop and educate your staff on your storm damage readiness plan. The following checklist will help you get started.
Storm Damage Preparedness Checklist:
- Make sure you’re covered. First and foremost, check in with your insurance company to be sure you understand your policy and that you have adequate business coverage on the various impacts of storm damage, such as building, product and equipment damage, loss of revenue and liability. Storm repair and storm restoration can be costly if you don’t have the necessary coverage.
- Know your numbers. Maintain a current list of emergency contacts including insurance agent, staff, key customers and suppliers. Additionally, keep up-to-date critical information such as bank account numbers and passwords. It’s a good idea to place the documents in a locked fire safe, off-site. If storm damage strikes your place of business, you don’t want to have to go looking for that information.
- Back it up. Backup critical data to a portable storage device and secure it in the same secure off-site location, or use cloud storage so that you don’t lose access to your critical data during storm damage restoration.
- Train your staff. Make sure your staff is trained in evacuation and first aid procedures and knows how to protect themselves and your customers in the event of storm damage if your business is open to the public.
- Maintenance is key. Regularly maintain your building’s exterior to ensure that it can weather a storm. Preventing storm damage is a lot less expensive than paying for storm restoration later on and can help you avoid a loss of revenue.
- Bank it. No matter what your cash flow situation is, you should have a “rainy day” fund, in case an actual rainy day takes away your business’ ability to generate revenue during storm restoration.
Having a plan in place for unexpected storm damage in advance can save you a lot of headaches and stress in the aftermath of nature’s fury. Hopefully you’ll never need to put that plan into action. If disaster does strike, the team of certified and trained storm damage repair and restoration experts at Hays + Sons are a quick phone call away, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We’ll have you back in business in no time.