If you’re reading this from Seattle or Chicago, you probably think this information doesn’t apply to you; you don’t get hurricanes in your area. Well here in Florida, Hurricane Central, I can’t ignore the fact that from June 1 through November 30 each year it’s hurricane season. And the preparation for potential disaster from a hurricane applies with equal force to disasters that can occur in your area … wildfires, tornadoes, mudslides, and in light of what’s happened in Hawaii, volcano eruptions.
I’ve covered the topic of disaster preparedness before, but I wanted to provide some resources to help you be prepared year round for the unexpected event that can shut you down temporarily so you’ll be able to recover and open your doors again.
Add to your contact list …
Be sure you can reach all of your employees, suppliers, customers and clients, and other business contacts in case of an emergency. Other numbers to add to your contact list include:
- Small Business Administration (SBA): 800-359-2227
- FEMA: 800-621-3362
- Your insurance company and agent’s contact information
- Service people (electrician, carpenters, etc. for any needed repairs)
Talk to your insurance agent …
Make sure you have the insurance protection you think you have or should have. Some events may be excluded from the policy you currently have, or you may be subject to coverage limits that do not reflect you current status. Review each of the following policies:
- Property. This coverage, which is usually part of a business owner’s policy (BOP), may provide coverage for a fire, but will it compensate you for property damage for a hurricane, tornado, etc.? Also determine whether all of your property is covered, what the coverage cap is, and whether you want to make changes.
- Business continuation coverage. If you want to have cash to pay your bills when your doors are closed, you may need this coverage to pay your employees, your rent, and other fixed costs.
- Flood insurance. Your BOP likely doesn’t cover flood damage. Check whether you can buy coverage through FEMA.
Review resources …
There are numerous resources you can use to craft a disaster preparedness plan so you can weather the storm (pun intended) and recover quickly to get back to business. Some of my favorites are from:
According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, “research shows at least 25% of those businesses that close following [disasters] do not reopen. Many that do struggle to stay in business.” Taking the time now to get prepared can make all the difference if disaster strikes your business.