When facing down a potential natural disaster, your priorities will obviously revolve around ensuring that you and your family make it through safely. However, if you’re a business owner, you have a whole additional set of worries to contend with when it comes to prepping for these events. Natural disasters can deal serious damage to a business, and many businesses are unable to recover after going through one. As such, learning what to do in order to prepare your business in the event of a natural disaster is vital to its continued success.
Have A Plan In Place
One of the most important things you can do to prepare your business for a natural disaster is to have a continuity and recovery plan for your business that you can easily implement. Continuity and recovery plans allow your business to minimize losses in the event of a disruption like a natural disaster and lays out a clearly documented process for the recovery of IT infrastructure once the disruption ends. While there will be inevitable losses over the course of a natural disaster and in the aftermath, putting in place a business continuity plan and a solid disaster recovery plan can help to mitigate the worst of them.
Additionally, if your business employs people and a natural disaster occurs quickly, it is important to have a well-documented and practiced evacuation plan in place to keep your employees safe. You can also make sure that your business is prepared by having vital data and documents backed up onto cloud servers or even physical data storage in a safe location. It also doesn’t hurt to keep lines of communication open with your customers so that they are made aware of the situation and what they should expect.
Just as you would have a contingency plan put in place for your personal safety in the event of a natural disaster, your business will have an increased chance of survival with a solid plan to protect it. You would never let yourself or your loved ones come into harm’s way during a natural disaster, and you should think about your business the same way. Being prepared for the worst, even for the most unlikely scenarios, can only help in the long run for the safety of your business.
Make Sure You’re Insured
While you can mitigate much of the damage that a natural disaster can cause through extensive planning, there is little you can do to actually prevent the physical damage that natural disasters can cause. Wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes can all completely destroy a business’s brick-and-mortar operations, so one of the best ways to help prepare your business for that possibility is to make sure that you are appropriately insured.
Commercial property insurance can cover everything, from the buildings your business owns and operates out of, to the tools, furniture, inventory, and equipment it uses to function. Meeting up with an insurance advisor in order to review your business’s current coverage never hurts and it allows you to make sure that your policy has a high enough limit to completely cover a full replacement in the event that a natural disaster outright destroys your business property. Depending on where you conduct business, you may even have a higher need for specific policies that protect from flooding or fire damage.
Making sure that your business is insured from natural disasters is especially important as there is little recourse that you can seek if your business is damaged and you’re not insured. While the government does allow individuals to apply for Disaster Relief Grants in the wake of a natural disaster, businesses cannot apply for these grants. When the SHTF, you are effectively on your own when it comes to taking care of your business and you cannot look to the government for assistance, so it is wise to have an appropriate insurance policy in preparation for a worst-case scenario.
Dealing With The Aftermath
Saving your business from the destruction that a natural disaster can cause is extremely important because not only is your business your livelihood but is a physical representation of the hard work you’ve put in. Starting a small business is notoriously difficult, and watching it all go up in smoke or be washed away in floodwaters can be one of the most terrible experiences you can have. Unfortunately, even with planning and insurance, there are issues that your business will face in the weeks following a natural disaster.
Just as you would prepare your home from the dangers of burglars, you should also be aware that, in the wake of a natural disaster, the people in your community might not act as they normally would. Many disaster zones experience widespread looting in the days following a natural disaster, either from opportunistic criminals or simply people trying to survive. Keeping your business secure is essential in the aftermath of a natural disaster because even if the disaster itself did not destroy your business, the danger isn’t exactly gone.
Many businesses struggle to get back on their feet after a natural disaster impacts their community. One positive note is that, generally, communities band together after disasters to try and rebuild and support one another. If your business is capable of helping others in their time of need, especially if you can leverage your online presence to let others know that you’ll be back in business and are there to help if people need you, then you most certainly should. This is not only the right thing to do, but it can help you get your business and community back into operation more quickly and shows the community you work in that you care about them, not just as customers.