Q. With all the terrible weather lately, what can I do to reduce the effects of such events?
A. An old saying goes "You can talk about the weather, but you can't do anything about it." Never has that been more evident than 2011. Weather disasters seem to strike around the country on a daily basis and the devastation has been evident in daily news stories. When it comes to your business, weather could be the event from which there is no recovery however much of that depends on how prepared you are before the storm.
First of course, you need to be certain that you have the proper insurance coverages and limits. A meeting with your insurance agent now could prevent problems later.
The next step is to prepare your property for a weather event. This includes: maintaining an up-to-date inventory of all product in the building; keeping computer records backed-up on a daily basis and remove back-up data from the building; keep all stock off the floor by use of skids, pallets or shelves; be certain drains are unclogged and operable; keep the roof free from debris such as leaves or pine needles, which could clog drains; and keep the exterior of the building free from loose debris.
As a storm approaches and there are warnings of imminent wind, rain or flooding you should: Keep listening to local media for updated information; fuel all company vehicles; fully charge all cell phones; move vital records, computers and UPS devices to upper floors or off premises; unplug electrical items before leaving the building; and install shutters or plywood over windows if it is a wind event.
These are just some basic items to remember should a major weather event occur in your area. Again, proper preparation could very well determine how quickly your business can recover from such a disaster. HME
Bill Tricarico is director of loss control at McNeil & Company. Reach him at email@example.com or 800-822-3747 ext. 127.