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Protect Your Business from Hurricane Storm Damage

Sep 16, 2008
There are many preventive steps you can take to protect your business from hurricane storm damage. Some are simple and cost nothing, others require more effort and funds. All are worthwhile. First, put a plan in place and enact it now to keep your business operational despite hurricane storm damage.

Review the details of your business flood, wind, and storm insurance with your agent. Be certain you understand the conditions under which the contents of your business and other specific items are covered from storm damage. If you operate a home business, depending on the square footage of your home used for business purposes, it may be necessary to have two separate policies, a home hurricane policy and a separate business hurricane policy. Be sure you have the necessary coverage for storm damage to your business as well as your home.

Take photographs of your business equipment and keep a written inventory of all important assets for insurance and tax purposes. Store these documents in a safe location, outside of the office, such as a safe deposit box.

Estimate the expense involved in replacing or repairing business equipment, including time lost. These estimates will assist you in focusing on recovery and damage assessment following hurricane storm damage.

Both during and for weeks after a hurricane, traditional means of communication are rendered inoperable as land lines and cell towers are destroyed. The only effective means of communication during these periods are Satellite Phones. Consider purchasing a satellite phone, or, as a minimum, consider renting a satellite phone for the hurricane season.

Create a database with contact information for all employees as well as for customers and vendors.

Take a look at the location of your business equipment within the building. During hurricane force winds, equipment located near windows is susceptible to damage or destruction. Protect this equipment by relocating it to a more secure area. Secure any equipment that could fall or shift during a storm, and move fragile, valuable, or heavy items to low secured shelves to protect them from damage.

Enlist the aid of your employees in preparing for hurricane storm damage. Delegate individual employees the tasks of securing and protecting equipment, backing up business computer files, delivering important documents to a safe location, and enacting safety precautions in the building or office. Consider purchasing a satellite phone for back-up communication.

Both hardcopy and electronic records and files are essential to most business operations. Businesses often lose files and records to hurricane storm damage, which increases recovery time and costs. The longer you are unable to operate your business, the greater the potential for lost customers who will be forced to use the services of your competitors. To avoid this problem, decide which files, records, equipment, or supplies are essential for business operation and take steps to protect them from hurricane storm damage. Routinely back up important files and documents and store them at an off site secure location. Include legal documents, plans, or any vital company documents.

If you keep supplies of product inventory or raw materials at your place of business, either move them to a secure area such as a storage facility away from the storm area or take steps to protect them from storm damage.

If you have experienced hurricane damage, consider temporarily hiring a contracted service provider to perform some company business functions such as customer service or payroll services until you are functional again. Every effort should be made to retain your employees and customers.

Take the steps necessary to minimize hurricane storm damage to your business and keep your company operational and productive.
About the Author
Lou Altman is the CEO and Founder of GlobaFone, an award winning, leading provider of Satellite Phone Solutions and global wireless solutions to Government and enterprise clients for the past 10 years. Other articles can be viewed at http://www.SatellitePhoneStraightTalk.com. GlobaFone is located in Portsmouth, NH and Lou can be reached on 603-433-7232.
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