Top Five Things to Remember After a Hurricane
The days and weeks immediately following a hurricane are crucial to your business as it looks to rebound from the interruption and setbacks caused by this catastrophic natural disaster. Here are a few keys items to focus on after a hurricane that can help you speed the recovery process and minimize the trauma to your employees and business.
- Understand the post-hurricane situation in your area. Take an inventory of the effects of the hurricane in your area. How did it affect your employees, your customers, your community, your competitors and your competitive landscape? By understanding the impact on each of these areas you can begin to formulate a game plan for getting your business back to “normal.” It's important to consider both the physical and emotional realm for each during your assessment. Meet with your employees and community members to look for ways in which your business (or you personally) can help with recovery efforts. In the long-run, your loyalty to your staff and community could pay you back tenfold.
- Think about your business. How as the hurricane affected your business? Immediately contact clients and customers to let them know that you're still in business and to update them on your business status. By maintaining clear and honest communication, you can manage their expectations and maintain their business through the recovery process and beyond. Similarly, check in with any suppliers to see if the hurricane has affected their ability to provide you with what you need to conduct your business efficiently. Be sure to source any new suppliers who can provide you with the essential goods you'll need to run your business. Once you've made these contacts and understand the business landscape, you can begin to develop both short and long-term plans for the recovery of your business. This is a great time to engage employees as you seek to redefine or reignite your business.
- Immediately contact your insurance company. Insurance companies will be busy with claims in the days and weeks immediately following a hurricane, so it pays to be toward the top of their list. The insurance company may have specific instructions for you as you seek to rebound from any losses, and knowing this from the outset can help you get prompt assessment and insurance awards.
- Document everything. You will undoubtedly face unexpected expenses and challenges as you assess damage to your business. It's important to save all receipts and document everything that may be important in your insurance claim. You should also take as many photos as possible of any damage to your business.
- Maintain corporate morale. Continuously rally your employees and assure them that by working together the business will survive and prosper. Provide staff with more business information than usual in order to help them anticipate any business challenges that may arise as a result of the hurricane. Keep the environment positive and upbeat! Team meetings or activities are a great way to maintain employee engagement, and an easy way for you to show them that they're important to the business's recovery and re-growth.
Your engagement in post-hurricane efforts will go a long way to your business's recovery. By maintaining a visible, active role, you can engage employees, customers and suppliers in a way that helps return to business as usual as quickly as possible.