Preparing your Newtown business for storm damage
It has been one month since we watched from across the country and saw the toll that the catastrophic flooding in Louisiana took on homes and businesses. There was an estimated $8.7 billion in damage and over 7,300 businesses were unable to keep their doors open. The impact of this – from lost revenue, employees going without work and the cost and effort involved in recovering from flooding is staggering. Business owners can't always prepare for every unexpected natural disaster but there are some precautions that can be taken to minimize the impact.
The first step a business owner in Connecticut should take is to determine whether you are in a high or medium flood area using a flood map. Many Connecticut businesses are in a high risk area. Keep in mind, however, that even if you are in a low flood risk area, you are not immune to storm damage. After recent hurricanes Irene and Sandy, even towns as far north as Sherman and Washington experienced flooding and were without power for up to a week.
It is essential for businesses to create an emergency contingency plan as well. This includes the protocol employees should follow during a storm and how to protect and shut down equipment safely. Remember to have a plan for how to secure your building as well, in case you are not able to go there for a few days due to blocked roads or power outages. An emergency preparedness kit on site is necessary in case employees cannot leave the business. It should include enough food, water, medical supplies and flashlights for several days as well as other essential items.
We also recommend having all of your emergency contacts in order so that you aren't scrambling to find help in the midst of a disaster. To assist you with this, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has a phone app called the Emergency Ready Profile that provides home and business owners with a quick and convenient way to call in the experts when disaster strikes.
The application allows both residential and commercial property managers and owners to create an ERP that contains critical facility information that can help speed up response time after fire or water damage occurs. In addition to property details, the application tracks prior loss history, utility shut off locations, and key contacts; stores photos of the damage; and integrates local weather forecasts and more.
Take steps to minimize potential storm damage to your Litchfield County business now. To discuss setting up an ERP for your business, call us at (203) 743-5362.