As a hurricane approaches, in addition to protecting the core foundations of your business (staff safety, product continuity, disrupted supply chains, etc.), as a business owner, you should prepare for potential loss of revenue and physical damage to your operations. Here are a few ways you can prepare your business for a faster recovery after a hurricane strike.
There are several types of insurance policies that can support a business. Unfortunately, there is no specific “hurricane” policy. There are, however, business interruption policies, flood insurance, and windstorm insurance. Look carefully over your plan. Some insurance policies have exclusions related to hurricanes. You need to know what will be covered so you can plan.
There are ways to minimize the damage by being proactive in preparedness. The five steps from our article on how to Protect Your Home can also be applied to protecting your store or office building. In addition to those necessary steps, you'll need to think about signage, antennas, satellite dishes, and anything used for advertisements. All large items will need to be brought inside and secured. Don’t forget to clear all gutters as well. If you have valuable merchandise or equipment near windows or doors, move them to a more secure location and reinforce them. It is important to note what merchandise and equipment are covered in your insurance policy. If there are items that are not covered, those should take priority in your preparations.
You will need an emergency plan for your employees for preparation and evacuation. An emergency bag for your employees should be prepared, and each employee instructed on how to use it. An instructional video on packing your emergency bag can be found in our video on how to pack an Emergency Bag. Print out and laminate a copy of the evacuation plan, emergency contacts, and other emergency plans.
Establish upfront how you will inform your employees of updates to operations. Connect employees to apps that will keep them current on storm updates, and create a way to communicate with all employees. This can be a Facebook group or a text group chat that you use to inform them of updates and changes.
Make sure everything related to your business is safe and secure - physically and in the cloud. If you do not have time to scan all of your essential documentation digitally, you can keep physical documents safe by placing them in a waterproof container.
Besides these steps, you can check out this business continuity planning checklist from Ready.gov and contact your local emergency management office to learn more about your business resources.
To prepare yourself and your team for a hurricane or other natural disaster, sign up for Aerial Recovery Group’s complementary disaster training program. Created and taught by U.S. Army Green Berets, this training course will give you and your colleagues the skills you need to prepare for and recover from a hurricane.