Sometimes nature goes haywire and causes havoc. Hurricanes can cause damage and losses that can go up to billions. A hurricane is one of the most detrimental natural disasters to small businesses.
The period between the warning announcement of an oncoming hurricane and its arrival can help business owners prepare. However, it is still not enough time to do everything that you need to do to prepare your business.
The best strategy is to have a business recovery plan that you regularly practice during off-season. Below are five hurricane preparation tips for small business owners.
- 1. Establish Communication With Employees
Being in contact with your employees during a hurricane is important. Check on their wellbeing and ensure that they are safe. Also, update their contact information since some may evacuate to different locations.
It is recommended not to depend on the conventional communication channels as they could be affected by the hurricane. Emergency channels can help you plan out a good routine that will work for everyone. Keep in mind that some may have family burdens during the hurricane.
- 2. Check your Business Insurance Policy
Having insurance for your business will go a long way in helping you recover in case of accidents during natural disasters. Knowing your insurance policy coverage is critical. Plan a meeting with your insurance agent and get a clear breakdown of what your insurance covers.
Having enough knowledge will help you in recovering your insurance in case of damages and will be instrumental in helping to stabilise your business again. Apart from damage caused by floodwater during a hurricane, you should also protect your business establishment from rain and wind.
- 3. Conduct an Inventory
Having a complete inventory of your enterprise will not only help you come up with a backup plan but will also be useful when you file insurance claims for damages after the hurricane. You can write down the list of everything you own while at the same time taking photos and videos of the property. Concentrate on parts likely to be affected, including windows, roofs, and doors.
- 4. Update and Store Your Data
A business’s data is essential to its survival. Losing it could make the already dire hurricane situation worse. In case of an oncoming hurricane, the data needs to be protected. If your business does not have any cloud-based backup services, consider backing your data into drives and storing them offsite. The data should include your inventory, finances, suppliers’ data and customers’ data. For your onsite data storage, ensure that your records and computers are stored in places with less risk.
- 5. Protect Physical Property
Check out official sources to find out the proximity of your physical location to flood areas. Identify the parts of your property that could be easily damaged and make a product inventory. In case you are in a flood zone, having emergency fuel can help you deal with your site’s lower levels from flooding. In case you are not prepared, you should shift your base of operations.
Hurricanes are a fact of life and advance preparation is the best way to deal with them. Prepare when there are no hurricanes to avoid the madness of trying to prepare during the last minute. Listen to local weather broadcasts to stay informed and to your local authorities to be updated of emergency measures.