No business owner want to think about preparing for a natural disaster. However, this is one aspect of running a business that is completely unavoidable. Pretty much every part of the U.S. is vulnerable to experience extreme weather of some kind. It might be hurricanes, tornados, flood, or fires. Some of these provide more warning than others. Regardless, it’s important that your business comes up with a plan ahead of time. Here’s how you can prepare your business for a natural disaster.
Have a Set Evacuation Plan
Some natural disasters don’t give much warning. This is why it’s important to have an evacuation plan in place should it ever become necessary. Make sure there aren’t boxes or other items in the way of the exit at any time. This can cause chaos in the event of an actual emergency, and cause serious injury or worse. It’s also a good idea to run an evacuation drill with everyone on your team, just so they know what to do in the event of an emergency. You can designate certain individuals to be the leaders of the evacuation, which will help things go much more smoothly in case of a real disaster.
Back Up Your Data
Your data is extremely important to the livelihood of your business. Make sure that it’s all backed up in the event of a catastrophe. It’s probably a good idea to have a cloud backup, as on-premise IT systems can be damaged by natural disasters. Imagine how much it would set your company back to lose all internal information—from accounting statements to research data. It could quite easily be the end of your business, as those things can’t be quickly and easily replaced. It’s crucial that you have a data backup to prevent critical loss in the event of a natural disaster. If you refuse to use computers to back up your files, at least have all important documents handy, and in a portable, waterproof file. You may need to grab them and run out the door if there’s a natural disaster.
Get Good Business Insurance
No matter your industry, it’s imperative that you have business insurance. The result of getting caught in a natural disaster without business insurance can easily bring about the end of your company. Insurance can help you replace inventory and hardware that’s damaged by a storm. If you aren’t covered, you’re going to have to pay for all that out-of-pocket. And it’s not likely that you just have the money to replace all your goods and computers at once. Use a business insurance calculator to determine what plan works best for you. Just don’t waste time in doing this. Getting caught without business insurance in a natural disaster won’t end well for you or your company.
Have Reserve Finances
Even if you have great business insurance, it’s going to take some time for your provider to process your claim and get you your money. This is why it’s prudent to have some money set aside specifically to safeguard against natural disasters. While this might seem too paranoid for some people, consider this: How will you reopen your business after the event if you don’t have any money? You won’t. But if you have a bit in reserve, you can get back on your feet right away—at least in a rudimentary sense—and start providing value to your community.
Natural disasters are a nightmare for business owners. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to lower the negative effects of these events. Abide by these tips to ensure your business can survive the next big natural disaster.