Regardless of the location of your business natural disasters are real. And when your hard-earned business investment is smack bang in the middle of it, then keeping your assets and staff safe is paramount. Despite most business owners insulating themselves from the everyday corporate risks (both internal and external); natural risks like hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding and lightning are often overlooked. Even more frequently these class of risks are uninsured too – but they’re possible in nearly every corner of the continent.
Causing billions of dollars in related losses for businesses each year, the effects of nature can be devastating. And if you’re unprepared as a business owner, the level of vulnerability won’t be apparent until disaster has hit. Don’t get left picking up the financial pieces after nature strikes – protect your business with these tips:
1. Invest in Business Interruption Insurance
Every smart business owner will have a high level of insurance on their business, but how much of it covers against natural disasters? Insurance policies should be reviewed on a yearly basis and it’s essential you know you’re protected from the risks in your specific location. Whilst you want to have direct coverage for physical loss and property damage, investing in business interruption insurance will give you better support during downtime.
BII is designed to cover the income loss due to a disaster-related incident after the business is closed down due to rebuilding. This period of restoration can be costly for businesses and generally won’t be covered under a standard business insurance policy. To get BII underway you’ll need to add it to your existing insurance policy. In addition to loss of income, it’ll also cover operating expenses like electricity, that will keep continuing despite business being on halt.
2. Consider Lightning Protection
Lightning is one of the most common natural disasters. And with up to 100 million volts of electricity coming down, its power has the potential to rip through roofs, ignite deadly and out-of-control fires and explode even the toughest of walls. Without a reliable protection system in place, the cost of damages to businesses from lightning storms can be extreme.
Lightning protection systems are the most effective way to eliminate the nasty impact of these natural occurrences. When a lighting protection strategy is in place, a new discharge means is provided for the lightening to enter and leave through without passing into any damaging non-conductive parts of a structure. Whist the strategy won’t prevent the lightning strike from happening, it will ensure its better controlled and prevent damage to structures around it.
3. Create a Contingency Plan
Having an established contingency plan in place will help to determine the best outcome in the event of an emergency. This should be created well in advance of a potential natural disaster and include an evacuation plan, employee contacts, document backups if required and any additional office or business preparation. The blueprint should include a clear communication plan to avoid a chaotic mess during the disaster too.
To create a plan that’s effective, all your business operations will need to be reviewed with potential risks clearly identified. Assign managers within the corporation to set tasks and determine ways to minimise panic as much as possible. All staff should have a disaster training session at least once a year to be aware of what to do should nature strike.
4. Know the Risks in Your Location and Weather Trends
Creating a contingency plan will help to determine what risks are apparent in your business location. Knowledge is power when it comes to providing adequate protection so check weather updates and risks prone to the area. Flood maps are on offer which shows locations and whether you’re in a high-risk, moderate-risk or low-risk area and there’s Smartphone apps to offer immediate updates and advice.
Consider the highest risks for your area – whether they be hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornados or potentially harmful lightning storms. Once you’re familiar with the risks it’s up to you as the owner to manage and keep your finger on the pulse with weather changes to act accordingly.
5. Have Backup Power with UPS
Implementing a UPS is a vital part of any organisation’s data centre. When power becomes interrupted from a natural disaster, UPS systems will offer a window of opportunity – a pocket of time – to get systems back into working order. Opt for a higher efficiency USP to really reap the rewards. Whilst it can be more expensive to fork out initially, higher efficiency UPS’s will save costs and energy in the long run and provide assurance against loosing critical data which can jeopardise the business.
Preventing the devastating effects of natural disasters is imperative. And with the right tools, business insurance and systems in place; you can put your business investment, staff and hard work in a safer position to survive.