Spring storms may be unpredictable, but your business’s reaction to them doesn’t have to be. By utilizing the proper precautions and planning, your business should be able to bounce back from whatever Mother Nature throws your way:
1. Obtain Business Income Interruption Coverage
Let’s say, for example, your riverside golf resort in a popular tourist destination is forced to close because of storm damage and a power outage following a severe storm that struck the area. The resort’s main building incurred some property damage from high winds and hail, forcing your business to close for the week. Business income interruption coverage provides coverage for situations like this, reimbursing for the resulting loss of business income you would have earned if operations hadn’t paused.
2. Create a Storm Preparedness Checklist
- Emergency storm supplies are available in the building and are in working order. This includes items such as backup generators, flashlights, battery operated weather radio, water bottles, blankets, a first-aid kit, a tool set, extra batteries.
- An up-to-date contact list of state and local entities is posted, and all staff knows where it is.
- An emergency plan is in place for severe weather and all employees are properly trained in what to do.
3. Secure the Property and Outdoor Assets
If you’re aware that a storm is on the way, examine the outside perimeter of your building to ensure everything is secure:
- Ensure windows are secure and locked.
- Ensure outdoor furniture is either brought inside or safely secured with appropriate materials.
- Clear any storm drains clogged with debris to allow water to flow away from the property.
- Have trees trimmed prior to storm season to prevent more damage.
4. Be Prepared for a Potential Power Outage
Your plan for a power outage should include:
- Who to contact if a power outage occurs and their contact information.
- Where supplies are stored such as batteries, flashlights, weather radio, first aid kit, etc.
- Instructions for employees to follow with different safety precautions for different appliances and equipment. (Ex. Don’t use a stove as a heating source, disconnect appliances and electronics, etc.)
- How to utilize generators safely by only activating them outdoors and away from windows.
5. Ensure Data Is Backed Up
This is crucial to disaster recovery regardless of a storm risk. Having critical data backed up will help you safeguard the information needed to keep operations running smoothly. Whether that’s point of sale (POS) data, accounting files, and other kinds of databases - data backup is necessary to protect your business’s continuity. This is something you should be doing in case of a cyber attack as well, as cybercrime is one of the fastest growing crimes in America.
6. Have a Communication Protocol in Place
A communication protocol will help to disseminate information to impacted parties in a timely manner. Be sure to outline who needs to be contacted in the event of an emergency and what their contact information is. This is crucial to the safety of your employees and customers.
At a minimum, you should maintain an up-to-date list of the following:
- State and local emergency phone numbers
- Employee contact phone numbers
- Employee emergency contact name, relation and phone numbers
While being prepared doesn’t prevent disasters from happening, it can decrease the severity of the outcome. By being proactive and training your employees, business can return to usual more quickly.