Recovery

Busiest Part of Hurricane Season Hits Mid-August — Is Your Business Prepared and Protected?

'A remarkable number of business owners will spend a lot of time preparing their homes, but very little time preparing their businesses.'

by Houston Chronicle / July 24, 2018
Floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey flow in the Buffalo Bayou in downtown Houston, Texas, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. AP/LM Otero

(TNS) - With the busiest part of hurricane season quickly approaching, one expert is asking business owners if they are ready.

Typically mid-August to mid-September generates the most hurricanes in the United States. While homeowners may be pricing generators, restocking hurricane supplies and getting ready for Mother Nature’s annual visits, Peter J. Strauss is stressing that business owners need to get prepared now.

Strauss is a captive insurance manager and author of the book “The Business Owner’s Definitive Guide to Captive Insurance Companies.”

“A remarkable number of business owners will spend a lot of time preparing their homes, but very little time preparing their businesses,” Strauss says. “Once a storm is on the radar, there is barely time to prepare your home — let alone your business.”

Colorado State University experts recently predicted 2018 will have seven hurricanes among 14 named tropical storms. Both numbers are above the average of six and 12, respectively.

Strauss says some preparations a business needs to take include:

Survey its staff members to determine what their needs will be during a storm and what they will need in order to return to work once the storm passes. The staff is the company’s biggest resource, so this should be a priority.

Start stockpiling water now if you have some extra space in your business. In an emergency, the first thing most retail stores run out of is bottled water. Also stockpile canned goods and extra food items that can remain fresh for your employees.

Take stock of all your software, hardware and data and arrange for duplication and off-site storage if necessary.

Purchase a generator and make other precautions for the inevitable disruption of power that will happen during the storm. Come up with an alternate plan of how you will be able to continue to service customers if there is a prolonged outage of power or if there is structural damage to your place of business.

Call your insurance agent and review your policy to make sure you have all the coverage you need. Also, videotape and photograph everything in your business and store for insurance purposes.

Strauss stressed that procrastination is not your friend when it comes to hurricanes.

“Once a storm is approaching, everything moves twice as fast as you think it will. Generators, water and plywood will go fast,” he said. “Gas lines will get longer sooner. You can save yourself a lot of headache and worry by being prepared.”

For more from Strauss, go to www.peterjstrauss.com.

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