When we talk about disaster preparedness, we tend to think about hurricanes, tornadoes, and long summer rains. However, there are many instances in which a business is negatively impacted because of planned, and unplanned, construction projects.
According to Tampagov.net, for 2016, the City of Tampa alone has over $16 million in storm water engineering projects planned. Pinellas County has more than 90 projects that are currently active affecting small and large intersections with temporary and full road closures. These will affect neighborhoods and businesses alike. Not staying updated and informed about these projects and properly planning for their impact, can negatively affect a business’ bottom line.
To get you ready, take inventory of the following information:
- Proposed start and end date for project.
- Expected road and/or sidewalk closures in your area.
- Updated financial statements.
- Copies of previous years financial statements.
- Contact information for all employees.
- Business continuation plan
- Employees safely coming into the business
- Employee ability to go about their day normally.
- Ability to keep normal business hours or make necessary adjustments.
- What to do if electricity and/or water are cut off while business is open.
- Current insurance policies and understanding of what is and is not covered.
- Pictures of business property and inventory information prior to disaster.
Should you suffer physical or financial impact, get informed on what is available to support your ability to keep your business open or re-open successfully.
First, a preparedness plan needs to be developed and the U.S. Small Business Administration offers templates for you to use.
Second, the U.S. Small Business Administration has a number of programs that provide financial assistance for physical and economic injury. Specific criteria must be met and it is important you know what these are.
The State of Florida, through the Florida Division of Emergency Management, offers other assistance programs to help businesses recover from natural disasters.
Lastly, make sure you have all your insurance documents in order and your financial statements are up to date. You will need to prove at all times that you suffered economic injury due to the natural or man-made disaster. Verify the type of policy you have and what type of assistance will be available to you before, during and after a disaster hits.
Be prepared to minimize the stress a disaster may impose on you and your business.