- Many risk factors can potentially affect your ability to operate, impact your cash flow - or worse still - injure your staff and customers.
- There are some essential tips that will help your business to prepare for uncontrollable things like bushfires, cyclones and other natural disasters.
- Learn about what insurances to invest in, what gadgets might help you and other vital information.
Sitting in the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Australian continent is susceptible to a number of natural disasters. Cyclones, bushfires, and even volcanic activity all contribute to the country’s geology and geography.
For those going into business, the worst thing that could happen is being affected by one of these natural disasters and suffering the consequences. More than just interrupting life, natural disasters have a direct impact on business.
Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to avoid what nature has set on course. However, business interruption insurance and preparation can be a way to salvage what is lost when a business must shut down because of a natural disaster.
By having insurance and preparing ahead of time for the worst, you lessen the impact on your business, your inventory, premises and on the lives of your employees and customers alike.
How to Prepare Your Business for Natural Disasters
In order to prepare your business for a natural disaster and get back to normal as quickly as possible in the event of a worst-case-scenario, you should:
- Invest in Business Interruption Insurance
- Review Safety Concerns
- Update Technology
- Stock Up on Store Supplies
1. Invest in Business Interruption Insurance
Business interruption insurance simply helps your business by covering profit loss, the cost of running the business, and protects profit margins until the business is up and running again.
This insurance also covers wages for owners and staff, and the insurance covers leases on equipment. If necessary, the insurance can cover relocating the business. Business interruption insurance is usually sold as a part of the property insurance policy, but it can also be purchased as a part of a comprehensive policy.
2. Review Safety Concerns
Because a business not only has to worry about the owners but employees and customers, safety is one of the central priorities in preparing for natural disasters. An evacuation plan should be shared with employees and management, even practising drills to make sure everyone knows what to do and who to contact in case of emergency.
Each office usually has someone in charge to lead others to safety points, and depending on the types of natural disasters that frequent an area, businesses might hold workshops to train employees.
3. Update Technology
In the case of a natural disaster, cell phones might be the only means of communication. If cell towers are down, have another means to communicate with others already in place.
Just make sure that there is something available in case communicating with people in other buildings and on the outside becomes difficult. Cloud or virtual PBX systems are two additional ways that messages and calls can be rerouted in case your entire system goes down.
Also, very important is to make sure to move hard copy files to electronic format in case items are destroyed in a natural disaster. When transferring this information to an electronic format, make sure the information is backed up in more than one place. Important documents related to articles of incorporation, client records, and important personal files should be stored electronically.
4. Stock Up on Store Supplies
Because natural disasters are never planned events, you should always be prepared in case you and your employees cannot leave the building. This means stocking up on water, batteries, first aid supplies, and any other items that might be needed for an overnight stay or at least until emergency personnel can reach your business.
A good rule of thumb is to also make sure your stash of business supplies is well-stocked because you do not know when you will be able to order materials in the aftermath of a natural disaster as you try to rebuild your business.
Being prepared for the worst is the best way to mitigate any damage that can happen during a natural disaster. Moreover, while horrible to experience, natural disasters can be tempered by simply preparing ahead of time and routinely checking to make sure supplies and communications are operable.
Ultimately, preparation is insurance in and of itself and will help you in the event of the unimaginable happening.
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