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It Will Never Happen Here

  • By Lauri Paxton
  • 25 Jul, 2016
Do you have a disaster plan?Whether your business sits in an area subject to flooding or on a hill top it is always important to have that plan in place for when disaster strikes, the weather turns and the “it will never happen here” happens.
As a business owner you already are responsible for keeping all of the balls in the air. At times it becomes difficult to see all that you are juggling. What happens when a fire, flood or other form of disaster strikes? Will you be prepared to rebuild and reopen your business?
  1. Having an emergency plan is often one of those tasks that is overlooked.It is one of those plans that when you need it, there is often not time to think about what all needs done to keep everyone safe. If you do find that disaster has struck your business, there are several steps that you can take to help insure the safety of your employees, as well as to protect your company’s assets. The disaster plan will help you to quickly return to business as usual following an unexpected event.
  2. Things such as such as shutting off the gas, electricity and water mains should be considered and numbers to do so easily accessible.Have a safe place for employees to gather when the storm or disaster does hit and a method of accountability for staff.
  3. If you have left the building, reach out to the local authorities before returning to your business.Returning too early can cause more problems for the emergency responders in the event of a flash flood or fire.
  4. After the storm has passed, take pictures, and report any and all damage to your insurance companyas soon as possible. This will establish a claim number that will trigger a request to have an insurance adjuster sent out to determine your insurance payment.
  5. Try to refrain from discarding items until the insurance adjuster has come.If you are forced to discard them and or begin clean up, be sure to thoroughly document with pictures and video any and all losses or damage.
    Talk to your creditors – they may extend terms. Be sure to speak to your lending agency as well. In many cases the lending agency will either reduce your monthly payments or allow you to push them out. Remember that it does not benefit them for you to go out of business, they just need to know what is going on.
  6. DO NOT SETTLE!If you feel that your insurance adjustment does not properly cover the loss, do not agree to it. You have the right to bring your own adjuster in at your cost to place a value on the amount of goods lost. The only down side to this is that it will delay the distribution of money from the insurance company.
Having a plan is essential to being able to weather the storm. Without one you may find yourself struggling to stay afloat or knowing what steps to take to reopen your business. Share your plan with key employees to help rebuild and reestablish your business following a disaster. Because…sometimes things just happen. When they do, are you going to be a statistic or be ready to reopen for business?
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