Alt Title: X Strategies to Minimize Business Risk From Natural Disasters
Your business is constantly facing threats from natural disasters, such as tornadoes, storms, and fires. Each one has the potential to destroy your assets, jeopardize the safety of your workers, and set the stage for a long and expensive recovery.
Is your business adequately prepared to handle these types of threats?
The Value of Prevention
First, understand that your best course of action is to work proactively. If a natural disaster hits your business unexpectedly, it will be too late to plan; your only option at this point is to respond reactively, mitigating damage as best you can and incurring significant expenses in pursuit of recovery.
Instead, it's much better to install systems and procedures that will help you minimize potential damage from natural disasters. Obviously, no one can prevent natural disasters from happening; no one has control over when and where earthquakes occur or how tornadoes form.
But you can put your business in a position to be much more resilient if any natural disasters come your way.
Investing in Insurance
One of your best moves to make is investing in a robust insurance policy. Too many entrepreneurs invest in a generic business insurance policy or set of policies, relying on basic property insurance or business continuity insurance to cover them for all kinds of damage.
However, it's important to review these contracts carefully; your policies may not have protection for certain types of natural disasters, like fires, floods, or earthquakes, depending on where you live. If there are any natural disasters not covered by your general insurance policies, it's a good idea to invest in specific insurance policies to provide yourself with more coverage.
Fire Suppression and More: Keys to Protect Your Business From Natural Disasters
What other steps can you take to protect your business from natural disasters?
· Scout locations thoughtfully. If you're choosing a location for your business, or if you're expanding your business to a new location, be wary of natural disaster risks. The West Coast of California is an area with great business potential, but it's also prone to earthquakes. You might be able to appeal to rural demographics in Oklahoma, but it's also in the middle of Tornado Alley. Always scout your locations thoughtfully, and be prepared for the specific types of natural disasters that might strike you in these locations. It may or may not be worth the risk to establish a business there.
· Conduct a risk assessment. Whenever you do have a physical location, conduct a thorough risk assessment. What are the main types of natural disasters that threaten you here? How much of a threat would those natural disasters be? Is there any way to prevent damage from this type of natural disaster, and are there any unique vulnerabilities you need to know about related to your business?
· Talk to a lawyer. In pursuit of better natural disaster protection, it's advisable to talk to a lawyer. Many of the strategies you choose to follow are done in self-interest; you want to minimize the damages and expenses you face after a natural disaster strikes. But it's also important to consider any legal obligations you have to your employees and customers, as well as any liability issues you face if you're hit by such a natural disaster. Your lawyer will be able to review local laws with you and help you decide on a natural disaster mitigation and prevention strategy appropriate for the restrictions and requirements you face.
· Prioritize communication. In any natural disaster, one of your highest priorities needs to be communication. If you can communicate effectively with your employees, customers, and other connections, you can coordinate movements, provide information, and generally get people to safety in a faster and more efficient way.
· Install a fire suppression system. There's not much you can do to prevent a tornado from ripping apart your building, apart from selecting better building materials. There's not much you can do about flooding, hurricanes, or earthquakes either. But one natural disaster is much easier to manage; installing a fire suppression system can give you the resources you need to extinguish a fire before it grows larger or stop it from spreading throughout your business. Even better, fire suppression systems tend to be inexpensive and easy to install, so there's no reason not to get one.
· Have a plan to secure your assets. Are your most important assets protected in the midst of a natural disaster? Are they stored in a basement area, so they're less likely to be destroyed by a tornado? Are there protective coverings you can use in an emergency? Are they bolted to the floor or otherwise secured so they aren't as vulnerable to earthquakes? Is there some procedure you can follow to minimize damage to them in high-risk situations?
· Create emergency evacuation plans. One of your highest priorities in a life-threatening emergency is getting people out of the building (or keeping people home). What is your emergency evacuation plan and how can you make sure people are going to follow it?
· Review your supply chain risk management. Don't forget about risk as it applies to your supply chain. What contractual agreements do you have with vendors and suppliers, and are there legal protections in place if you aren't able to fulfill those obligations in event of an emergency?
· Draft a business continuity plan. Put together a business continuity plan. If an emergency situation unfolds in or around your business, or if your existing leadership is rendered unable to lead, who's responsible for taking over? What are the most important steps to take first?
One of the best tools available to protect your business is a fire suppression system, especially if that system is equipped with a clean agent designed to cause no damage during activation. If you're interested in purchasing a new fire suppression system, or if you just want more details about how these systems work, contact us for a free consultation and quote today!