preparing your small business for the worst
Maria Arnedo
By: marnedo
Read in 5 minutes

How to Prepare your Small Business for a Natural Disaster

A lot of the times, we are so overwhelmed running a business that we forget we could lose everything in a second. It is vital that you be realistic and prepare your business for a natural disaster. Consider the various scenarios in advance. You will be better positioned to confront any challenges.

Fires, hurricanes, frozen pipes, water main breaks… If you don’t have certain mechanisms in place, it will be overwhelming to address these crises. Many small businesses do not have a disaster plan in place or carry proper insurance. Address these issues before they actually become a problem. This will put you well ahead.

Prepare Your Small Business with a Recovery Plan

To help you out, we created a guide to draft a disaster recovery plan. Here we point out the main things you should take into consideration when you are planning for the worst. Who makes the call announcing that the office will close in the event of a hurricane or blizzard? Does that person contact all employees, or is it better to start a phone chain? Is each employee responsible for contacting someone else? Does your business have the technology for a mass text message to send to all the employees in such an event?

Prepare Your Small Business Based on Your Location

If you are in Colorado, then your small business may not have to worry about hurricanes. But there is a good chance that you may need to worry about blizzards and mudslides. Don’t waste your time preparing for natural disasters that are unlikely in your geographic area. Examine and create plans for those that are possibilities in your region. Based in Oklahoma or Kansas? Then you’d  better make sure your small business has the appropriate tornado coverage in your insurance policy.

Prepare Your Small Business with the Best Coverage

Once you know how your small business is vulnerable, make sure it is covered for it. Work with your insurance agent to get the best coverage for your small business. The more comprehensive the insurance, the more expensive it will be. But in the long run, it will be far less expensive than having to replace products, merchandise or equipment.

When Hurricane Isabelle hit Virginia and North Carolina, everyone had flood insurance. But hardly anyone had thought to have insurance covering wind damage. It turned out that the winds associated with that hurricane did the bulk of the damage. That meant that many small business owners lost a great deal of revenue, as they weren’t insured. Don’t run that risk: make sure you have the most comprehensive coverage that you can.

Prepare Your Small Business with Drills

Make sure that your employees are well-versed on what their roles are in a situation of crisis.

You should have a team for these areas:

  1. Conducting the assessment
  2. Creating the plan
  3. Communicating

Conduct drills, practice with the staff, whether it is activating the phone or evacuating the building. Keeping your employees in the loop will help ensure that your plan gets put into play. Additionally, it will result in your staff going above and beyond to help you.

Remember this: It can always happen to you. At the same time, it may never happen, and we hope that’s the case. Preparing your business for a disaster is a smart move. It is better to recover, han losing everything that you worked so hard for.

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