Although most locations in North America are close to weather or geographic features that can create seasonal catastrophes, some businesses don’t spend that much time thinking about how to handle an actual disaster.
Oddly enough, the SBA document online talking about storm damage restoration claims that many small businesses hit by a major storm actually fail to re-open. The primary reason is that they have sustained damage to their infrastructure and cannot replace the data, the products, or the premises that they were leasing or owned.
Here are some ways that you can increase your chances of re-opening your business after a strong area storm :
Become a client of a disaster recovery contracting firm :
It might sound a little odd to signup to become a client before you actually need someones’ services. On the other hand, if you think about the dynamic that goes on when there is a major storm, it makes sense. Everyone gets prepared for things to go wrong and then they either do or don’t. If they do, services are cut and people scramble to rebuild and clean up. That typically means that all contractors in an area are very busy for several weeks.
If you took the time to become a client of a disaster recovery contracting firm in advance, you are already guaranteed better service because you can talk to them right away and get assistance.
Have your inventory prioritized :
Although this is something that takes a little bit of time, it is much easier when you do this while you are taking inventory each year. Alternatively, you could work from the most recent year’s inventory list and then create groups that reflect each asset level’s importance.
When you do look at prioritization, for retail it is normal to see a high priority put on the display cases, the product, and the electronic cash register systems. The storage area and its infrastructure can also be a priority, although you can still open without them being completely functional.
For manufacturing and some warehousing, the line equipment and equipment that fulfills orders is near the top of the list along with the product and manufacturing items that you purchase.
Make good decisions on restoration :
Although offices can often sustain a lot of damage before they have to be abandoned, the minute that you decide to stay in the office that you have, it becomes important for you to decide whether you are going to restore some items or whether you will discard everything. If an item like a piece of furniture or a hard drive is salvageable, you may find that the cost of restoring them is much lower than it is to replace them.
Most of the time, however, the primary decisions that you make on restoration will involve large systems like your hardwood floors or your carpeting and drapes. Should they stay or should they go. Since some of that is dependent upon your insurance company, it is a good idea to stay close to the process until a decision is reached so that you can step in with your own pre-made decision.
Re-opening after a storm is tedious work at times. If you have a strong partner with a national reach and a system for working with contractors and insurers to put your facility back together again, you should have a shorter delay before you re-open.