Preparing your small business for a natural disaster

Hurricane Harvey left behind an estimated $23 billion in damages in two counties in southeast Texas alone, with costs still rolling in from the rest of Texas and Louisiana.  This type of disaster can mean the end for many small businesses. For some, it will take a long time to get back to where they were, while for over 40% of others, it means the end of the line.  Hurricane Irma hit south Florida and areas north recently as well, with the damage still being assessed.  So what can you do to protect your business against disasters such as these?

Business continuity plan: Plan for what you will do in the event of a natural disaster. Are you able to work from alternative premises? Is there somewhere safe nearby that might help you continue to run your business after disaster strikes? Make sure you have up to date staff and next of kin information including addresses in case of power and cell phone outages. Check with suppliers and partner companies about their disaster plans so you can ensure supply after a disaster. Consider purchasing CBI (contingent business interruption) insurance to protect your business against supply chain disruptions.

Check your insurance and review bi-annually: Make sure you business is covered for natural disasters of all types, loss of income and other expenses including payroll and that your coverage is adequate to recoup losses.

Be sensitive towards staff: Employees may have lost homes and possessions due to the natural disaster, so you may need to be flexible with hours and leave so that they can sort out their personal premises and families.

Protect your records: Ensure files are backed up on the web or a cloud and can be accessed from your phone especially policy documents, and staff information. Record the damage:  Use photos and videos of the damage as well as copies of receipts for expenditure to back up your insurance claims.

Be prepared, be alert and keep safe.

Having the coverage you need and knowing all your options are an important part of protecting your business. At The Egis Group, our insurance programs for businesses are heavy in coverage, yet light on your wallet. Call us today to make sure you are protected in case of a disaster.