We live in turbulent times, not least due to extreme weather conditions. And, the consequences of natural disasters can be severe for small businesses. In today’s guide, we’re going to take a look at how you should react if your small business suffers from a natural disaster. Read on to find out more.
Preparation is essential
Do you have insurance protecting you from natural disasters? In some states, it is a necessity, but if you aren’t located in one of those areas, it’s not something you should avoid. Insurance means you get the cover and protection you need in the result of an extreme weather event. Nobody – not even meteorologists – can give you a 100% assurance nothing will happen where you work. Get the protection in place, and you will not have to shoulder the burden of clearing up alone.
Contact all employees
First of all, you will need to contact all your employees. Their safety is your responsibility, and you have to find out if there are any injuries in your workplace due to the event. You should also start to take names and contact details of everyone that is still available to work so that you can plan your business in the days ahead. Don’t forget that many employees will have family and friends suffering from the disaster, so may not be able to focus on their work activities. It’s important to weigh up each employee on an individual basis. Some might need to stay away while others can feel undervalued if they aren’t working.
When the dust settles, there’s the matter of cleaning up after the event. Of course, how you approach this depends largely on the event itself. In an earthquake scenario, things can be changed forever – and you might be looking at a move elsewhere. However, some disasters, such as floods, are recoverable. Get hold of a disaster cleanup company to help you get everything back in order.
Identify critical activities
The next step is to start getting your business back on track. Make sure you outline all the business critical activities that need doing. The idea here is to keep your business running as normally as possible. You may need to find temporary accommodation – but if you have insurance, this might be already in place. In a worst-case scenario, you can ask your employees to work from home if suitable.
Even with insurance, you might struggle to afford to recover your business. The good news is that there are funds available. Contact the Small Business Administration, who can provide loans for natural disasters of up to $2 million. Interest rates tend to be competitive, so it’s best you start your search for funding there.
Another important aspect of your business lies in your data. It is essential that you contact a disaster data recovery firm who will – hopefully – be able to save your vital information. One good way of preparing for the worst is to start using cloud-based services such as Dropbox and Google Drive.
We hope this has helped. The main thing to remember is that your business can survive the biggest natural disaster. We wish you all the best.