How to Prepare Your Business for Natural Disasters – Pt 2
Dan Levenson July 20, 2022
Secure a Backup Location
What happens if a hurricane or earthquake damages your current business location? Many venues find a backup location – a place they can rent to act as a temporary office where a premise is needed. While you can find this location at the last minute, why not have a “red folder” list of venues you are most likely to temporarily book when the next major natural disaster rolls through your region. In regions that regularly face fierce storms, hurricanes, or earthquakes, this plan is even more immediately relevant and important.
Remote work can reduce your need for a workplace, and is a great fallback, but many business models require a base of operations. Make sure you have a backup location ready in case your primary business location is damaged or inaccessible after a local natural disaster.
Arrange for Emergency Services
What happens if the power and internet go out in your office? If there is a risk of interrupted service, take measures. Sometimes, a local storm will leave your building undamaged, but you may lose access to essential utilities. There’s no need to clear out if you have a backup plan for emergency utility services.
You can access the internet with an office hotspot that taps the cell network instead. It might not be as high-speed as your wired provider, but it will keep your team able to access files and respond to customers.
As for power, consider a backup generator – or know the number of your local generator rental provider. Many generator rental companies in rough-weather regions actually have an emergency service to deliver and install temporary generators when the power goes out. Sign up for this service and expect your generator on the first day of a disaster-based multi-day outage. You can literally keep the lights on by planning ahead
For the rest, use cloud resources to ensure that your business plans are interrupted as little as possible.
The Right Kind of Insurance
Business insurance on your building, its contents, and business continuity itself are all possible. However, you will want to build your insurance plan in accordance with the greatest local risks. Flood insurance might be a “must” in your region, or earthquake insurance if your city lies on a fault line. Work with your local business insurance agent to help you build a plan that covers all the most likely types of damage or loss of revenue caused by the local storms and possible natural disasters.
Create an Emergency Response Plan & Team
Finally, put together a complete emergency response plan. Assign your emergency response team members and train them in the right procedures should a disaster strike the region or the building. Include contacting employees to make sure they are safe and plan for remote reconnection. Determine how you will switch to remote work and who will take the lead. Hire or get in touch with emergency restoration services so you know who to call if a storm blows the windows in. Have that red-folder plan ready to go for every type of disaster that could happen in your area. This way, you’ll never be taken by surprise.
Batten Down the Hatches
Finally, prepare more directly for a known natural disaster. If you know that a hurricane is coming, take measures to protect both your workplace and your employees. Determine as early as possible if you will be closing the venue and transition, everyone, to remote work safely. Protect the windows and doors – any exterior glass. If a disaster strikes suddenly while people are in the building, take everyone to a safe place and enact your emergency plans.
Ready to protect your company from disaster and plan for business continuity? Contact us today!
This article is for general information purposes only. It is not insurance, tax, legal, business, or other advice. For specific insurance questions related to you or your business, please contact our office.