When putting together your business plan, did you include a section on how you will deal with natural disasters? While this is something that most of us don’t want to think about – and something that will likely never happen – it is still important to be prepared for anything. If you are not prepared, it could mean the end of your business, depending on the type of disaster and the amount of damage it causes. Even something as simple as hail can cause an extreme amount of damage.
The first thing you need to do is identify the risks in your area. For instance, if your business is located in an area where there are frequent earthquakes, this is what you need to focus on for your disaster plan.
Here are some additional tips to help you prepare your business for natural disasters:
1. Choose a Team Leader
You should have a team in place that deals with all of the details when there is a natural disaster. It is also important to choose a team leader, and that person must be someone that your employees already look up to and will follow in the case of a disaster. This is not a job that is only done when there is a disaster. Your team leader will be responsible for many tasks, including creating a disaster recovery plan, regular meetings with employees, disaster training, learning how to identify commercial property damage, filing for insurance claims, etc.
2. Identify Resources
You, and your disaster team leader, must be aware of all of the resources that are available to businesses in the event of natural disasters. These can include insurance companies (you will need to get an insurance quote for disaster coverage), a lawyer or advisor, government organizations, etc.
Some of the best resources for you to know about for protection after a natural disaster include:
- Disaster Planning
- Preparing for a Disaster (Taxpayers and Businesses)
- Voss Law Firm Hail Claims
- Preparedness Planning for Your Business
- Know Your Disaster Risk
3. Look at the Big Picture
When you and your team leader are putting together an emergency plan, you need to look at more than just the area you are in. Other things to consider include where customers are located, where suppliers and vendors are located, etc. You will need to have backup plans in place in case any suppliers are in an area where there is a natural disaster. Basically, your disaster plan should include what to do when the businesses and people you deal with are in areas where there are natural disasters.
4. Keep the Phone Lines Open
In the event of a natural disaster, it is important that your employees are safe, even if that means that they are not going to be coming into work. Make sure that you have a complete list of all your employees, customers, suppliers, etc., including contact information, and update that list regularly. Keep a phone line open in the event of a disaster, so employees can call in to find out what they are expected to do. Create a “phone tree”, which will help to cut down on the overuse of telephone lines.
5. Don’t Stop Working
Just because you and your employees can’t go into work, it doesn’t mean that all work has to stop. There are likely all kinds of jobs that can be done from just about anywhere. Figure out the things that you and your employees can do from any location in the event of a disaster. That way, business isn’t going to slow down too much. Also, when you give your employees something to do, they are going to be more confident that the business is safe and that they have jobs to go back to following the disaster.
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