Storms and other unexpected events can severely damage your business property and hurt your business profits if you’re not prepared. Even the IRS warns you to backup accounting and tax records. Also store paper receipts and other supporting information in a safe place (e.g., a fireproof office safe or another secure location off the premises). Besides financial data, be sure to back up vital information on your customers and employees; this information can be difficult or impossible to recreate in the event of loss.
Review your insurance coverage with your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate coverage for property losses. Also, consider coverage that will provide cash to continue paying business expenses (e.g., rent, payroll) during a period in which the business is closed down due to a storm, fire, or other unexpected event.
If you have a service business that can be run from another location, now may be a good time to check out alternate business locations and/or determine whether it’s feasible for staff to work from home. Talk to your staff about their ability to telework if it becomes necessary and work out details to facilitate this arrangement.
Most important is emergency contact information—retaining key numbers that would be needed when a storm hits your business location, such as the number of your insurance agent. Keep this information, along with other directions for staff action, in a written emergency plan that you can access immediately if you experience a hurricane or other devastating event.