Natural Disasters for Small Businesses
Natural disasters have an enormous impact on small businesses, especially start-ups and cash-only businesses. The livelihood of both the owner and employees are jeopardized, an a plan must be in place to protect all parties involved. The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that 40% of small businesses fail to re-open after a natural disaster. With preparation, you can greatly increase the chance of your business recovering.
An emergency plan should be formed when the business is formed. Insurance becomes a key component of this plan, requiring careful consideration of all assets and deciding on the best insurance policy. For example, will natural disaster or looting insurance be included or added on later? Use the following steps as a guide to develop a post-disaster plan to keep your business running after an emergency.
- Follow up with employees: Address their concerns, and note if they are able to find temporary work or aid in the recovery process.
- Develop a communication strategy: Delegate someone trusted to communicate with disaster relief services, suppliers, and financial institutions
- Keep your data safe: Have a back-up of your business' files in multiple locations. Consider cloud based services since the data is stored remotely and can be accessed from multiple devices.
- Seek a restoration expert: Restoration companies such as ours will come to your aid to listen to your concerns, minimize loss, fix damages, and find the best value out of your insurance coverage.
- File an insurance claim: Examine policy and make sure there are no gaps. Also ask the questions, "Are additional damages covered? What are my deductibles?"
- Disaster loan assistance: There are various government agencies and organizations that can help your business recover. Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website to learn about their Disaster Loan Program to help fix property and restock supplies.