Creating a Natural Disaster Plan for Your Business
When everything from floods, hurricanes and tornadoes to wildfires and earthquakes happen, our businesses as well as our homes and families can be impacted. It is important to be prepared for these worst-case scenarios—and the key to this is advance preparation and planning.
Being prepared for those scenarios involves creating a natural disaster plan for your business. Some aspects to consider when designing that plan are discussed in this blog.
There are many different factors you will need to consider when building a disaster plan for your business. This includes your employees as well as your assets such as equipment and merchandise.
Some of those considerations to include should be:
- How to safely protect your employees
- How to secure your assets
- How to get business up and running again
There have been many checklists made available to us by sources like the Red Cross, FEMA and Ready.gov that will help you identify areas that need to be included in your natural disaster preparedness plan. These sources will also show you just how unprepared you could be.
Because disaster often strikes without warning, it’s important to have a plan that lays out procedures and safety measures for employees and visitors. Make sure evacuation routes and exits from your facility are all clearly and visibly marked, provide an area where employees can take shelter when necessary, consider installing emergency lighting, and have designated staff “safety wardens” that are properly trained and ready to assist in all emergency efforts.
When you identify a shelter space, a basement or storm cellar is the ideal location in the event of tornadoes or other high-wind situations. Choose a small interior room or closet or interior hallway if you have no basement space.
If you have a brick and mortar location for your business, that does not mean your assets inside are fully protected. You’ll have to make mindful choices about how to protect them.
Be sure to have a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory of these items and, if possible, having photographs prior to a disaster whenever possible is always helpful for the insurance claim process. If your assets are based on a computer server, take the steps necessary to ensure that the backup system is regularly performing backups and that the storage system cannot be damaged.
If you own your building, take some time and talk with a contractor to locate areas that could be improved on with regard to structural integrity. This contractor can also walk you through possible safety upgrades and identify any areas that may not meet codes for certain weather situations. .
In the unfortunate event a natural disaster does occurs, it is highly likely that, due to damage, your business will have to shut down while repairs are being made. Every day you remain closed is another day of lost profits. Set up a special “rainy day” fund that will be available to use should you incur additional costs that are not covered by your insurance.
It is a good idea to compile a list of contractors who will be available for any construction concerns or repairs and to find a company that specializes in cleanup and restoration service that will be available to quickly respond to your emergency situation.
With SERVPRO® of San Gabriel, you can count on us to get to the disaster faster and make it "Like it never even happened." Our training and expertise have prepared us to help with water damage, storm damage, fire damage and mold remediation quickly and effectively.
Knowing what to do when disaster strikes your business is of the utmost importance. When it comes to the cleanup and restoration aspects, depend on SERVPRO® of San Gabriel to be there for you.