7/3/2014 - Hurricane Arthur reminds business owners to prepare
A little more than a month into the season and the first official hurricane is taking shape over the Atlantic. Hurricane Arthur which was initially reported as a tropical storm intensified to hurricane capacity overnight. While many forecasters predicted 2014 to be a fairly inactive period for heightened weather activity, the strengthening mass of moisture that carries with it heavy precipitation and potentially damaging wind gusts will surely test business owners' mettle in regards to their level of preparation.
Roughly 1 in every 4 businesses in the United States is forced to close their doors following damage from a storm or disaster and never reopen them again, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. Additionally, roughly 90% of all natural disasters involve flooding, based on data from the Insurance Information Institute.
Judith Spry of BDO Consulting offered some recommendations that business owners should keep in mind as Hurricane Arthur moves its way northward.
Depending on just how heavy winds will be, Spry advised business owners to have a communication plan in place, as phone services may be interrupted for lengthy periods, ABC News reported. In 2005 after Hurricane Katrina hit, many employers were caught flat-footed because they didn't anticipate this would happen. Though Hurricane Arthur is not predicted to bring the type of damage Hurricane Katrina caused, small business owners should still make arrangements for how they'll stay in touch with workers and or suppliers.
Additionally, business managers should also take a second look at their insurance policies to ensure that they have flood coverage. Following Hurricane Sandy, many company operators were under the impression that they had this type of protection when they didn't, leaving some unable to sustain the financial blow that the storm wreaked.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has a web resource that both homeowners and business owners can use to get themselves ready for Hurricane Arthur, with tips on what to do before, during, and after the storm passes by.
If you're a business owner with questions about your policy, speak to your local Selective agent today.