Seasonal Preparation Tips for Small Businesses

Every year, the U.S. suffers billions of dollars in damages due to seasonal storms, especially from hurricanes and related flooding. Even those who are not directly in the path of a hurricane often face heavy rains that increase the risk of flood damage.

Small businesses are often the glue that holds communities together—and they can also be among those most impacted by seasonal storms and the subsequent flooding.

As severe weather season extends into late fall, small businesses should take a few precautionary measures to ensure they’re protected from these devastating storms:

1) Pay attention to the forecast. Of course, the first step in preparing for inclement weather of any type is to stay abreast of the forecast. Regularly checking the local news or signing up for severe weather notifications on a mobile weather app helps keep small businesses aware of any storms approaching, as well as their potential severity and possible mandatory evacuations.

2) Inspect the roof and drainage system. The roof is especially susceptible to damage from high winds and torrential rain. Routinely inspect the area for loose materials, holes or gaps, and ensure that objects such as antennas are securely connected. Additionally, keep gutters clear of leaves, dirt and other debris that could clog and cause excess water to pool up on the roof.

3) Secure items outside and inside. Seasonal storms and hurricanes bring high winds, so relocate any outside items, such as signage, seating or displays, to a secure location. Heavier, immovable items should be properly anchored. Also, consider installing flood protection materials like tarps or sandbags outside properties. Inside, make sure electrical items are unplugged and move items on the floor to an elevated area if possible.

4) Determine a recovery location. In the event of property damage, small businesses may need to choose an alternative site for daily operations. Determine this location in advance and equip it with everything needed to continue doing business as usual.

Keep in mind that flooding can occur at any point throughout the year. Often, it only takes one severe storm with heavy rain to wreak havoc on a community. A flood can occur anywhere in the country, but it’s important to note not all commercial packages or business owners policies provide full coverage for flood damage. Agents should explain exactly what type of property coverage their clients have and whether separate flood insurance is required in their region.

For more information about small business insurance from AmTrust, please contact AmTrust today.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors.