Hurricane season is a time of year when small business owners in coastal communities need to be especially vigilant. Businesses are damaged or destroyed annually by hurricanes and other severe weather conditions. If you're a small business owner in a coastal community, it's important to take steps to protect your business from hurricane damage. Thankfully, taking steps ahead of time to make sure your small business is prepared for a hurricane can save you and your company lots of headaches.
Beyond our fast and flexible funding options for businesses, including our Lines of Credit and Term Loans, Idea Financial wants to ensure you keep your small business safe during uncertain times. Here are our top five tips for preparing your small business for hurricane season.
1. Create a Disaster Plan
Creating a disaster plan for your small business during a hurricane can seem daunting, but it is important to have one in place in case of an emergency.
The first step is to create a list of important documents and items that need to be taken with you in case of an evacuation. This list should include important papers like your driver's license, passport, and insurance information, as well as valuables like jewelry and cash.
It is also important to have a backup plan for your data. Make sure you can access important files remotely; if you can't, make sure you have a physical copy of them. Additionally, establish an emergency communications plan with your employees so everyone knows what to do in case of a disaster.
Finally, make sure you have a backup power supply system in place in case the power goes out. By following these steps, you can help ensure that your small business is prepared for any type of emergency.
2. Secure Your Property
If you own a small business in an area that is prone to hurricanes, it is important to take steps to secure your property before the storm hits. This may include boarding up windows, installing hurricane shutters, and tying down or relocating outdoor furniture. Doing so will help prevent severe physical damage to your building and property.
Also, ensure any tools, machines, or any other items that could be moved by heavy wind are either relocated or secured to the ground. Check, recheck, and triple-check that everything outside your building is secure. Don’t underestimate the strength of the wind during a hurricane.
3. Stock Up on Supplies
When a hurricane is headed your way, it's important to take some time to stock up on supplies for your small business. Here are some tips on what to buy:
- Food: Make sure you have enough food to last through the storm. Canned food and snacks are a good option since they don't need to be refrigerated.
- Water: You'll need plenty of water to drink and to flush the toilets. Buy jugs or bottles of water or invest in a water storage container.
- Batteries: Make sure you have plenty of batteries for your electronics.
- Flashlights: A must-have item in any hurricane kit.
- First-aid supplies: Make sure you have bandages, gauze, tape, and other supplies in case someone gets injured.
- Cash: In case electronic payment systems are down, have cash on hand to buy food and supplies.
4. Stay Connected
As a small business owner, staying connected with your employees, clients, and community during a hurricane is important. This can be done by staying up to date on weather conditions and emergencies in your area. You can follow local authorities on social media or sign up for emergency alerts.
In addition, you can also connect with other small business owners in your area to share information and resources. By staying connected, you can ensure that everyone is safe and informed during a hurricane.
5. Stay Calm and Be a Good Leader
When a hurricane is headed your way, it's important to stay calm and organized. Here are a few tips to help you lead your team through this stressful time:
- Stay positive: It's important to stay upbeat for your team. They will look to you for guidance during this time, so make sure you're setting a good example. Remember that your body language and tone of voice will show your team how to act during this time.
- Keep communication open: Make sure you're keeping communication open with your team. Let them know what you're planning and what they can expect.
- De-stress: This may seem like an odd tip, but it's important to remember that disasters can be stressful events. Make sure you take some time to relax and de-stress during this time so you can stay focused and organized. A calm mind is a powerful mind. A frantic mind is a weak mind.
- Stay organized: This is especially important during a chaotic time like a hurricane. Make sure you have a plan and stick to it. This will help keep everyone calm and organized.
Idea Financial is the leading industry expert for small businesses, and we're here to help you every step of the way. We offer a variety of services to help you grow your business, including Business Loans, Lines of Credit options, business funding, and more. Don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions. We're here to help you charge your business forward!