No matter where your small business is located, you are at risk to experience a natural disaster. Luckily you can complete natural disaster preparation whether you’re in Florida worried about hurricanes, California concerned about wildfires or Texas troubled by tornadoes.
While you hope a natural disaster never impacts your small business, it always pays to be prepared. A few simple steps can help you make the best of a terrible situation.
Natural disaster preparation tips
Your building and its contents are likely your biggest assets, and can also be the most costly. With these tips, your business will be better prepared and protected.
- Risk assessment—Begin by evaluating the natural disasters that your area is vulnerable to and protect against them. For example, if your business is along the Gulf Coast, you likely do not need coverage for earthquakes, but definitely need hurricane insurance, depending on your exact location.
- Research insurance options—After assessing the risks in your area, educate yourself on coverage options that make sense for your business. Be sure to explore options for Property coverage, Business Interruption Insurance and more.
- Develop a disaster plan—Natural disasters are often unexpected, but there are many ways you can prepare in advance.
- Set up an emergency response plan and share it with employees. Document the plan and practice it regularly.
- Will you need a back-up source of power, water or food? Consider the supplies you may need in the event of a disaster and stock them.
- Keep duplicate records, or invest in software that will backup essential, sensitive documents. Cyber Liability Insurance may also be beneficial.
- If there is time before the disaster strikes, do what you can. Forward calls from your desk phone to a mobile phone, move equipment to a secure location, make sure electronics are unplugged, put sandbags around your building, etc.
- Decide how customers and employees will be notified of any potential delays, and who will be the point of contact for client communications.
- Stay up-to-date—Your business’s risks will change over time, and perhaps even yearly. Review your company’s needs and insurance policies yearly to ensure you have the right coverage in place.