After the slew of catastrophic storms that hit the USA and the Caribbean during 2017, many people suffered unprecedented losses in the aftermath. Hurricane Harvey caused major flooding and damage in Texas. Hurricane Irma ripped through Florida, Georgia, and up the east coast leaving destruction in its wake. Hurricane Maria pummeled the Caribbean, leaving Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic devastated.
Not only were countless people left without homes and in need of supplies, but many businesses were hurt because of these storms. While we can’t control the weather, we can control our preparedness for disasters such as these. We can lessen the damage in some ways and make sure our employees are safe.
With that in mind, here are four pre-storm tips that every business should follow.
- Create a Disaster Recovery Plan
Disaster can strike at any time, so being prepared if the worst should happen to your business is necessary now, before anything has happened. If disaster should strike and your business suffers damage and possibly temporary closure, you must have a plan in place for what to do. Mainly, your plan should answer the question, “what next?”
What are the first steps you should take if your business is damaged? What entities and people need to be contacted right away? What should your employees know right away? What is your plan for getting everything back to normal as quickly as possible?
Also, remember to update your plan regularly to account for the latest potential threats and business circumstances.
- Keep Emergency Supplies on Hand
In the worst case scenario that you and your employees are stranded on the premises, you should have an emergency supply of certain items on hand. These will help protect the safety of your employees during a disaster strike. The items are:
- 3 Days worth of supplies.
- First aid kit and manual
- Solar or battery powered radio.
- Non-perishable food
- Water – one gallon of water per person, per day
- Blankets and pillows
- Extra batteries.
- Tool Kit
- Gas for vehicles and generators
Remember to keep these supplies in a safe, dry, and easily accessible place.
- Backup all important documents
One of the unexpected losses of major disasters like hurricanes and floods is the loss of important documents. Many businesses keep physical records and important information on site at their business. A major storm could destroy the building or cause flooding, both of which threaten the safety of these documents. Back up all of your important papers and records and keep them in a separate, safe, and secure location. This includes information about yourself, your employees, and your customers. Take special precautions to safeguard tax information, critical financial documents, and insurance information.
- Confirm your insurance coverage
Keep your insurance records organized and up to date. Also, make sure you clearly understand your insurance coverage and the policy language. You need to confirm that you have the right coverage for different disasters and contingencies – like flood, fire, storm damage, and other losses due to disaster.
It is also important to keep clear, organized records of all your insurance information and records. This will ensure the insurance company has everything they need to process your claim and the keep the claim process moving forward without delays.
Disasters are unpredictable and can easily leave you in a frantic and helpless state. By taking a prepared and organized approach to disaster preparedness you can minimize the cost and disruptions to your business. If your business has suffered damage due to a storm, contact us today to start the process of cleaning up and getting things back to normal.