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Have You Emergency-Proofed Your Business?

Disaster can strike at any time – and the stakes are especially high when it comes to your business, regardless of its legal structure or location. The good news is, as with anything, putting in place contingency plans well in advance of an event and adopting other measures can greatly help you mitigate the risk of your business suffering potentially terminal damage.

In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to emergency-proof your business, but first let’s explore some examples of exactly what kind of “emergencies” may hit your business.

What Disasters Might My Business be Exposed to?

If your business has a physical premise and is located in an area at a heightened risk of being hit by a natural disaster, then such catastrophes should be high on your priority list when it comes to emergency-proofing your business.

There are many parts of the United States which are exposed to various different perils. For example, Tornado Alley is often hit by tornadoes and other extreme weather conditions, while parts of Florida are vulnerable to flooding and hurricanes, especially during the Atlantic Hurricane season (which runs from the start of July until the end of November.)

California is another vulnerable State, as large swathes of it are exposed to wildfires and are somewhat prone to earthquakes.

Countless other parts of the US are exposed to other perils – and even if you don’t live in an area which is frequently hit by extreme weather or a natural disaster, it’s still important to do everything you can to ensure your business can survive and continue to operate should one strike.

The Importance of Contingency Planning

It’s impossible to remove the risk of a natural disaster or a bout of extreme weather, but there are many things you can do to help mitigate the risk and potential damage your business may incur in such an event.

Contingency planning is key when it comes to emergency-proofing your business. You should develop various continuity strategies for different scenarios to help you deal with the physical and financial damage of a disaster.

For example, you should equip your employees with remote working capabilities to ensure your business can continue to function – in some capacity at least – even if the premises sustain significant physical damage. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to many businesses (such as restaurants and stores), as remote working simply isn’t an option, but for others it’s definitely worth consideration.

Reviewing your insurance policy and ensuring you have adequate coverage in place is also very important, as solid insurance coverage is often the only lifeline available to small businesses which have been devastated by a disaster.   Do not for get about business continuation insurance, as such policies typically “motivate” insurance companies to quickly get a firm “back on its feet”

Repairing the Damage

If your business is unfortunately hit by extreme weather or a natural disaster, your priority will be getting it up and running again as soon as possible.

So, you’ll urgently need to get the premises repaired – either via an insurance payout (if your policy covers the type of damage sustained), via your own capital, or through some type of business loan that you qualify for.

Whether you are in a flood plain, tornado alley, or on top of a fault line, having an emergency contingency plan regardless of where you live and/or operate is paramount. If the pandemic situation has taught us anything, it’s be prepared for anything! This definitely comes into play even more when you’re trying to sell a business. A potential buyer wants to see that you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s.

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