Minimize Business Interruption
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency 40% of businesses that experience a disaster never re-open. In order to protect your business from any type of interruption, it is adamant that you have a plan in place.
Every business owner should be familiar with the location they are in and what types of natural disasters the location is historically known for. Knowing what type of natural disaster is common in your area will help you develop an accurate emergency preparedness plan. Some examples of natural disasters can be flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.
Once you have figured out what may be inevitable in your area you should then understand your insurance coverage. Business property insurance pays to repair or replace property damage but does not protect against consequential damage like the downtime of a business while repairs are going on. This type of damage would be picked up by a business interruption coverage. It is important to also understand this type of coverage as it can differ significantly with possible exclusions, coverage limits and waiting periods.
When preventing hazards from arising you should ask yourself if these areas are up to standard/code:
1. HVAC system
2. Electrical system
3. Telecommunications system
4. Fire protection systems
5. Sprinkler system
These areas should be regularly inspected and maintained for proper functioning.
Other potential risks may be occurring from indirect sources such as other occupants if in a multi-occupancy building. It is beneficial to know what hazards might be going on nearby. For instance, if the neighboring occupant to your property is a business that manufactures acetone products, which is extremely flammable, you would want to take note of this and customize your plan accordingly.
To prevent inventory damages, store contents based on level of sensitivity. Any water sensitive products should be removed from flood prone areas and placed above 100 year flood level. Vital records that are necessary for the survival of the business should be given maximum protection from any disaster. If possible establish electronic back up copies.
To expedite repairs in the event of an emergency, companies should develop contacts with contractors in the area. By establishing prior contacts in advance will help to initiate return to operation quickly and efficiently. This will also prevent any time wasted by auditioning different contractors to pick the best one.
We, at SERVPRO of Northeast Bergen County, offer an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for businesses who would like to develop not just a plan but a relationship they can trust to help them be prepared for any size disaster. Contact us today to learn more!