Hurricane season, which lasts from June 1 to November 30, can wreak havoc on small businesses. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 60% of the top 10 costliest natural disasters were hurricanes.
There are several different ways that a hurricane can damage the business you have worked so hard to build. To begin with, gale-force winds can destroy roofing, siding, and even outdoor equipment. The torrential rains associated with hurricanes can produce massive flooding, and as little as six inches can destroy the critical infrastructure of a business. If the business is near the coastline, enormous waves can even wipe out the entire physical location.
Staying Safe: Hurricane Preparedness Tips
Following a few hurricane preparedness tips can drastically reduce the chances that a business will be destroyed in the event of a hurricane. Staying aware is one major step towards preventing financial disaster.
- Secure Windows: Use storm shutters over all exposed windows at the business. All other glass surfaces should also be protected. In the event that time is short, plywood covering can also be effective at protecting the windows in the event of a hurricane.
- Store Vital Data: In addition to storing data securely online, keep hard copies of any valuable information at a separate location. Ensure that important information is backed up on a weekly basis.
- Create a Survival Kit: A survival kit should include extra batteries, a flashlight, a battery-operated or crank radio, canned food, water, a first aid kit, waterproof ponchos and plastic bags, and reliable shoes. Being prepared beforehand can go a long way in helping to navigate an emergency hurricane situation. FEMA recommends a complete list of items for your kit.
- Develop An Emergency Response Plan: Include vital employees in the process of crafting an emergency plan. The emergency plan should lay out the protocol for what happen in the immediate aftermath of an incident, in addition to including emergency contact information and plans for how communication will be managed between employees and customers.
- Inspect Regularly: Since siding and roofing materials are especially susceptible to hurricane damage, conduct a biannual review to assess their strength and complete any necessary repairs.
- Purchase Virginia Business Insurance: Insurance is designed to give confidence and peace of mind that the business' assets are protected in the event of an emergency. Flood insurance can close a significant gap between a general business owner's policy and the damages caused from a hurricane. In addition to a basic policy, business owners should consider business interruption insurance, which covers the down time while the business is completing repairs to return to full operational status.
For a quote on the best insurance coverage for a business in a hurricane zone, call us at 757-583-1828.