Storms cause increasingly worse damage, and if your small business is in the path of a catastrophic weather event, you may feel like there’s nothing you can do.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize the impact of storms and enable a quicker and more cost-effective recovery following weather damage. A commercial insurance policy can be pivotal in recovering from a disaster, while fortifying your building can help minimize damage.
Preparation #1 – Purchase Insurance
Purchasing a business insurance policy is one of the best ways to prepare for weather disasters. A business insurance policy can cover equipment and building damage or loss. It can also cover the loss of income in the storm’s aftermath.
Business insurance can enable a small company to remain solvent when it would have gone out of business otherwise.
Preparation #2 – Consider Flood Insurance
Not every business location needs flood insurance, but every business owner should consider their risk. Surprisingly, a significant percentage of flood damage happens to homes and businesses that aren’t in a high-risk flood plain.
The good news is that anyone from high-risk to low-risk can purchase flood insurance if their community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If you decide flood insurance is the right choice for your business, compare what you can get through NFIP with a policy from a private insurer.
Preparation #3 – Invest in a Generator
A generator can keep your business operational during power outages that often follow storms. Not every business needs a generator, but if you have sensitive inventory, a generator is critical for loss prevention.
If your business is in a location that experiences sub-freezing temperatures in the winter, a generator can help to keep your building warm enough that your pipes don’t freeze and cause even more damage than the initial storm.
Preparation #4 – Fortify Your Building
You can make improvements to your business building that can help it to withstand adverse weather more efficiently. For example, you can replace an asphalt shingle roof with a metal roof that tends to resist wind damage better. And you can make sure rain runoff is diverted away from your building.
You might want to install surge protection so a lightning strike won’t fry your electronic devices. There are many ways to protect your building from the hazardous effects of the weather. Start by considering what types of storms are most likely to cause damage and then think of ways to fortify your business to protect from that damage.
Preparation #5 – Save for Emergencies
Most people are well-versed in the importance of building a personal emergency fund. But many don’t realize how essential an emergency fund can be for a business facing a catastrophic weather event. Putting effort into maximizing profits so you can save for emergencies is one of the best steps you can take to prepare.
After storm damage, while replacing equipment and repairing your building, an emergency fund can give you a cushion to absorb the losses associated with rebuilding costs and the inability to conduct business as usual.
Hopefully, your business will never be forced to recover from a catastrophic weather event. But proper preparation, from insurance protections to savings cushions, can give you the confidence that you can rebuild no matter what nature throws your way.