How to Prepare Your Business for Hurricane Season
A casual glance at the calendar will let you know that it’s almost that time of year again, that time when low- and high-pressure systems get together and dance their annual destructive dance, laying waste to most everything in their path and causing inordinate amounts of damage and loss. Or, as most people describe it, hurricane season.
Hurricanes are a serious matter and bracing yourself for these inevitable seasonal storms requires some serious preparation. In fact, preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane as the wellbeing of your family and property may very well depend upon the steps you take to be ready. But as a business owner, you also need to think about whether your office is adequately prepared to weather the disaster when it strikes.
As you begin to stock up on bottled water and batteries at home, it is likewise important to think about how you can make sure your business is just as secure against the elements as your family and personal property.
Here are a few ways you can help fortify yourself and your business against Mother Nature this season:
Double Check Your Insurance Coverage
Oftentimes business owners are surprised by what their insurance policy actually covers. It’s usually assumed that the insurance you purchase for your business meets all your potential needs. It is not until after disaster strikes that you are forced to realize that your policy left your business unprotected from windstorms and other such disasters.
It’s important to reach out to your insurance agent and review the details of your insurance coverage (and premiums) today in order to make sure that you have adequate coverage against natural disasters. Tools such as business interruption coverage and extra expense coverage can go a long way in helping your business recover from any losses brought about during the time you were unable to remain open or in operation.
Back-Up and Secure Your Files
All business owners are all too aware of the importance of keeping tight records. Routinely updating and backing up files is all part of normal business operations. While it should not have to take a hurricane to encourage you to ensure these precautionary measures are met, you do not want to be on the other side of a natural disaster with damaged, or worse, destroyed or lost files.
In the event your business is affected, maintaining regular back-ups will help restore your business to normal operations swiftly and effectively. If possible, store your files in multiple locations. For example, if you have not already invested in cloud-based document storage, now is the time—it may save you a quite a lot of hardship in the event of a natural disaster. Organization and advanced planning is the key to keeping your business afloat in troubling times.
A Back-Up Plan For Your Back-Up Plan
When Plan A goes down, Plan X, Y & Z pick it back up. Unfortunately, in today’s digital age the aftermath of a severe storm can have a longer impact on your business than it may take for FPL to clean up the debris. With downed power lines, regular business operations may be placed on hold for an indefinite amount of time. For that reason alone, it’s imperative to have a few different options in case of a prolonged state of ambiguity.
Keep records of contact information for key personnel and clients—be sure to reach out and notify both of what your organization’s plan is in the event of a hurricane. Set parameters and plans to ensure both the needs of your clients will be met, while also establishing a conversation for what happens in the event of an emergency. Secure all the passwords for your office’s computers to gain access to any files from anywhere should the need arise. And if the forecast affords you enough time, devise a plan on how you intend to carry on with business—telecommuting, working from home, using a separate location—and communicate it to your employees, clients and your suppliers.
Recovering from a natural disaster takes time, but the sooner you can get your business back on its feet the better chance you have at mitigating potential losses and proving that your business is resilient and built to last.