Does Your Business Have a Natural Disaster Plan? | SERVPRO of Western Essex County
Would your business be prepared to face all that Mother Nature can throw at it through floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and earthquakes? The most important key to surviving these natural disasters is to be prepared for these situations.
Being prepared for these situations involves creating a natural disaster plan for your business. This blog will lay out some aspects to consider when designing that very important disaster plan.
Where to Start With Your Disaster Plan
There are many things you will need to consider, including your employees, your material assets and equipment, when developing a disaster plan for your business.
Some of those considerations should be:
- How to protect your employees
- How to secure your assets
- How to get business up and running again
Many checklists have been made available through sources like the Red Cross, FEMA and Ready.gov that can offer information that will help you identify areas that need to be included in your natural disaster preparedness plan. These sources will also help you see just how prepared you truly are.
Don’t Neglect Employee Safety
If a disaster should strike without warning, your plan must lay out clear and concise procedures and safety measures for the protection of your employees and visitors. Your evacuation routes and exits from your facility should all be properly and clearly marked, have an area designated that will serve as a shelter space, consider emergency light installation, and ask for volunteers to serve as designated “safety wardens” properly trained and ready to guide and assist with all emergency efforts.
When choosing a place for shelter, ideally this space would be a basement or storm cellar in the event of tornadoes or other high-wind situations. If there is no basement available, select a small interior room on the lowest level of the building, such as a closet or interior hallway.
How to Protect the Assets
In a brick and mortar location, you’ll still need to make careful decisions when it comes to protecting the assets inside the building. You have thousands of dollars tied up in equipment and/or merchandise that will be at risk should a natural disaster strike.
Be sure to have a complete and up-to-date inventory of all equipment and assets. Having photographs prior to a disaster whenever possible is also always helpful if insurance claims need to be made. If your assets are computer data-based and kept on a server, take the steps necessary to ensure that the backup system is making regular backups and that the storage system cannot be damaged, such as a cloud storage option.
If you own the building that you conduct your business in, get with a contractor to uncover areas that could be structurally strengthened. This contractor should be able to suggest possible safety upgrades and advise on any areas that may not make the grade in certain weather situations.
Getting Back to Business
When—and if—a natural disaster does occur, it may be entirely possible that your business will have to be closed for days or months due to the damage incurred. And every day you remain closed is another day of lost profits. It is wise to set up a disaster fund to help cover any additional costs that are not covered by your insurance.
Keep a list of contractors handy who will make themselves available for repairs, and know which cleanup and restoration service will be available to quickly respond to your emergency situation.
With SERVPRO® of Central Union County, 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.