It’s not easy thinking through these scenarios, but dealing with the aftermath can be even more challenging. Preparation is the key to business survival when severe weather or other natural disasters strike.
BEFORE SEVERE WEATHER DEVELOPS
Taking the following steps before you face a flood, tornado, hurricane, winter storm, or other catastrophic weather events may mean the difference between recovery and closing your doors forever.
Manage risks proactively.
Consider what you can do now to avoid injuries to people and prevent unnecessary damage to your commercial property. Hylant’s experts can help you evaluate your existing risk control plan and procedures.
Create or refresh your business continuity plan.
Make sure the organization understands how it will continue to do business with as little downtime as necessary in the event of catastrophic weather. For ideas and resources on how to do this, read Continuing Business After a Catastrophe.
Properly insure your business and your commercial property.
Review your insurance program with your broker or carrier. Evaluate the coverages you have in place to understand how—or even if—your policy will respond if your property is damaged or your ability to conduct business is impaired. Ask whether coverage for “ordinance or law” compliance is included.
Watch our free, on-demand webinars to learn more about how commercial property and business insurance works and how you can conquer catastrophic losses.
AFTER SEVERE WEATHER PASSES
Remember that safety is the most important concern as you begin to restore your business.
If you evacuated, return to your business property only after local authorities confirm it is safe to do so.
Stay away from downed power lines and report them to the power company. Report broken gas, sewer or water mains. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Prevent Illness and Injury After a Disaster webpage for additional recommendations and resources.
If your insured property has been damaged, alert your insurance carrier or broker as soon as possible.
Your insurer can start gathering resources to assist you. For tips on how to streamline the claim process, read Managing a Business Property Insurance Claim: Five Steps After a Catastrophe.
Until permanent repairs can be made, make necessary short-term repairs to prevent additional structural damage (board broken windows, doors and openings; remove debris from the roof; tarp holes; etc.).
This step is often required to maintain your insurance coverage. For both short-term and permanent restoration, work with a reputable, well-known service provider. The restoration companies on this list may be able to assist.
ROAD TO RECOVERY
Restoring a business to normal operations after a catastrophic weather event is never simple. However, taking the time to plan for an emergency, communicating the plan throughout the organization, and making sure the right insurance coverages are in place can make the process easier.
Hylant’s business insurance and risk management experts are ready to create customized plans to help safeguard your business against property loss and loss of business. Should the worst happen, your local Hylant service team stands ready to answer your questions or assist you in filing a claim.