Natural Disasters are impartial and affect everyone in their path. No one is safe. Your employees, customers, suppliers, community and competitors are all affected the same when a disaster strikes your area.
The Goal is to Reopen.
Unfortunately more than 30% of businesses never reopen after a natural disaster and small businesses report an average loss of $3,000 every day they remain closed due to a major storm. Your business could be affected even if the disaster didn’t occur in your state; someone in your supply chain may be out of commission due to a storm. Places like Texas, California, Oklahoma, New York and Florida see more disasters than any other states in US. If your business has suffered a disaster consider these steps to help reopen your business as quickly as possible:
- Contact Insurance: Don’t clean or touch anything until you speak to your insurance rep. Follow their instructions since you may not be covered for unauthorized repairs. Document the damage once you’ve spoken to them. *Insurance companies keep an electronic copy of policies so it’s okay if the hard copies were damaged during the disaster.*
- Assess the Location: Do not return to the office until emergency services has said it is safe to do so. If the location is not safe and will have a long reconstruction time consider:
- Temporary accommodation
- Working from home
- Leasing a location or relocating the business
- Protection: Once back at your business, cover holes in the roof with tarp, board up broken windows and move undamaged items and records to a safe place. Turn off gas and electricity before beginning clean up and have a licensed electrician turn it back on.
- Determine Damage: Assess the impact of your damage ASAP in order to put a plan in place to clean up efficiently and start the restoration process. If leasing a space, let the management company know what happened – they may have steps to follow or can aid in clean up.
- Hire Clean Up Help: Find the right restoration company that provides the commercial services you need to help get your business back up on its feet quickly and efficiently.
- Re-Building the Business: No matter whether re-starting your business at its present location or an alternate location it is important to have a plan in place to get things rolling. Keep in mind it is very likely that your employees will be dealing with the disaster on a personal level as well.
- Make a plan: Determine what is most important to fix and work down.
- Talk to Employees: See what their personal damage is like and what their recovery time line is. Consider some may need time off to repair their home, or may not return at all. Communicate the possibility of a stand down – when and for how long, and provide resources for emotional relief after the disaster to help them cope with stress and anxiety.
- Reach Out: Inform suppliers and customers of what happened, how long you will be down, when orders will be taken, new delivery dates, etc. as well as any changes in location. The more information you provide them the better.
- Rebuild Morale: Help provide a positive atmosphere and partake in some team building.
- Consider Viability: Assess if you have the finances needed to reopen. Consider the current state of the local infrastructure and your employees. Did the disaster change the market for your product or service? Are your competitors affected or closing their doors for good?
- Disaster can be used as a fresh start to strengthen areas of weakness.
Minimize the Damage for Next Time
Natural disasters are unpredictable and always occur. In order to protect your business follow these tips to make sure your business is prepared.
- Make plans to preserve records – consider the cloud or an
offsite backup center
- Check and update insurance – Leave no gaps in your plan; property, business interruptions, and extra expense
- Perform a business impact analysis – know the risks to your business and create a recovery plan, then train employees to carry out the plan, practice first aid and evacuation
- Get your employees input on what could have been done better if this were to happen again
- Purchase Generators – 71% of businesses don’t have them, but power is the first to go and usually takes the longest to restore.
- Develop a communication strategy – prevent customer loss with a plan of attack when disaster strikes. Post notices on business locations, call or email, place a notice in the newspaper, etc.
- Compile emergency contacts – phone numbers and address of suppliers, customers, local emergency services, insurance reps, financial institutions, etc.
Don’t let disaster get you down.
If you are experiencing damage to your office or business due to a disaster, call Reliable Restoration now to have it addressed quickly. Reliable Restoration is here for you 24/7/365 with a licensed, expert team that will restore your business back to pre-disaster condition quickly, affordably and with integrity. Visit us at: www.choosereliable.com or call us at: (678) 325-1633.