Is Your Small Business Ready for Hurricane Florence?

Date: September 08, 2018

Updated 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 10, 2018

Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Florence making landfall in Virginia later in the week. A state of emergency allows the commonwealth to mobilize resources including the National Guard and position people and equipment to assist with storm response and recovery efforts.

Meanwhile, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management is urging residents to prepare an emergency kit in case the storm strikes the Virginia coast. 

NFIB has compiled a list of tips to help small businesses weather hurricanes or other natural disasters.

  • Understand the risks. Is your business in a location where flooding is possible? Are tornadoes, hail storms, earthquakes or other acts of nature potential hazards to your business? Make sure you are aware and protected as much as possible against the possible risks. 
  • Be sure you have adequate insurance. You need at least enough to rebuild your home and business. Review your policies to see what is — and isn’t — covered. Consider business interruption insurance, which helps cover operating costs during the post-disaster shutdown period. Get flood insurance.
  • Take photographs and videos of your assets. Store them online if possible or in waterproof and fireproof containers kept in a safe place, such as a relative’s or friend’s home or business in another state.
  • Have an emergency response plan. Determine your evacuation routes. Establish meeting places. Keep emergency phone numbers handy.
  • Develop a communications plan. Designate someone to serve as a contact person for your employees, customers, and vendors. Phone and email in your area may be down following a natural disaster, so ask an out-of-state friend, colleague or relative to serve as a post-disaster point of contact.
  • Backup your business records. Make copies of your any vital records and store them someplace safe. Use online backups for electronic data, and keep paper documents in a fireproof safety deposit box.
  • Create a disaster kit. Put a flashlight, a portable radio, fresh batteries, fresh first-aid supplies, non-perishable food, bottled water, a basic tool kit, plastic sheeting and garbage bags in a bag or box someplace handy, in case of emergency. Encourage your employees to prepare disaster kits for themselves and their families.

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