Hurricane season can cause widespread damage and leave your business with lost revenues and extra expenses. While the most comprehensive [and most expensive] insurance policies can cover most, if not all damages associated with natural disasters, if we’re being honest with ourselves, the majority of small business owners can’t afford to go all-in on their coverage; not to mention that storms can still cause an elongated or permanent loss of clientele. So, with lessons learned in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, here are some tips to keep your small business not just surviving, but thriving this hurricane season (June 1 – November 30).
1. Create a plan and practice with your team - Plan, prepare, and practice! This is essentially the foundation for your business continuity and lessens the impact of a hurricane. While technology typically affords many of us advanced warnings of natural disasters, if there is no contingency plan in place there is not much that can be done to keep your business operating as normal. Assemble a team of key personnel to organize planning: run drills and conduct training to include identifying critical equipment, file storage, & relocation of essential supplies. Lastly, develop evacuation procedures including routes & exits.
2. Backup Data – Information technology is crucial to sustaining your business and keeping competitive. Run backups regularly and ensure that they are performed in a timely manner. Secure data and proprietary information with a safe & dependable off-site storage facility.
3. Make a survival kit - Include flashlights, batteries, personal documents such as ID cards and badges, a 2-week supply of water and non-perishable foods for everyone, and a first aid kit. That said, don’t pack too much as the emergency survival kit should be easy to carry and with ease of mobility.
4. Purchase a generator – Power outages can affect every industry, from hospitality including hotels & restaurants to food warehouses and data centers. We all think lights off when we hear “power outage” but for businesses, a power outage can cause the loss of thousands in spoiled food, possible deaths due to extreme heat (as recently seen in Florida nursing homes), and for data centers the loss of power can exceed $100 million as experienced by Delta Airlines in the summer of 2016. Backup power generators allow you to keep access to vital resources for continued business productivity. Heating and cooling, refrigeration, and yes lighting are all necessities and without power to keep these resources businesses run the risk of extreme loss. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), almost 40 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors after a disaster.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to take action and protect your business and your team. Plan ahead and practice with your staff so that everyone is prepared and ready in the event of a natural disaster. An emergency action plan does not guarantee the worst-case scenario won’t arise but it can increase your company’s odds of survival. As once stated by Stephen King, “There is no harm in hoping for the best as long as you are prepared for the worst.” Contact Industrial Motor Power Corporation today for backup/emergency power.