Natural disasters have become commonplace in today’s society. Hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, and landslides have increased in frequency over the past few decades thereby posing a real risk to businesses. If you have ever gone through a disaster, you will understand that the struggle for survival begins immediately after the disaster has passed.
Businesses sustain damage from such disasters thereby necessitating the filing of insurance claims, keeping your customers informed, among other activities. If you have suffered from the effects of a disaster such as hurricane damage, the following steps can help you get back on track.
Inform Your Insurer Immediately
Insurance companies provide cover for disasters, and as a business, you cannot afford to stay without one especially in disaster-prone areas. If you have a policy, the first step is to let your insurance company know of the damage you have suffered before you begin cleaning up. This will ensure that you get an accurate estimate of the loss. The damaged materials will serve as evidence of the impact the disaster has had on your business. As part of the analysis, you may hire services of forensic analysts such as New Rome to help you get an independent assessment of the disaster damage.
Seek for Assistance
Natural disasters come unplanned and therefore take your business by surprise. The low financial ebb your company finds itself in immediately after the catastrophe requires financial help to pick up again. You may qualify for low-rate, long-term loans to help you in the recovery. These facilities can help finance the acquisition of non-current assets as well as working capital.
Update and Communicate to Your Customers
When a disaster happens, your customers are also affected, and they would like to know what is happening with your business post-disaster. If you have a website, you can use that avenue to update your blog or news section to inform your customers about whether your ordering, shipping, or inventory has been affected and if so, when they should expect your business to be back to normal. You can also use social media to send messages to your customers and stakeholders. Be as honest as you can on your current state of affairs and how long it will take you to operate at full capacity again.
Reach Out, but Don’t Count on FEMA for Immediate Help
If your business is located in an area federally declared as a disaster region, you may qualify for federal aid. One thing you must acknowledge is that this kind of help often moves slowly, mainly because of the number of claims others are filing at the same time, as well as pending applications in the system. It responds faster to homeowners than businesses, thus making your private insurance the first point of assistance.
Have a Backup Plan
You cannot possibly exist as a business without a business continuity plan. Such an arrangement outlines the response of your company to natural disaster by addressing questions around filling and tracking of orders as well as alternative vendors if the ones you have are not operating.
It is also advisable to have a data recovery plan for your critical files. Cloud services can help you get prepared and recover quickly when disaster strikes.