Frank Thomas interviews Prentice McIntosh, continuing and concluding the conversation on hurricane preparedness in this episode of Stephens Viewpoints. Prentice and Frank discuss steps businesses should take after a hurricane. They focus on getting back to the property and meeting the claims adjuster as quickly as possible, putting in place temporary fixes to mitigate future losses, and revisiting the disaster recovery plan to make sure all aspects of the business are protected.
[:24] The previous two episodes, Part 1 and Part 2 of this conversation, covered how businesses can prepare ahead of a hurricane and during a storm. Today, we look at how businesses can deal with the aftermath of a storm.
[:41] Oftentimes during a major storm, businesses have to shut down, which can, in turn, impact the company’s revenue, staff members’ employment, and inventory. It goes back to having the natural disaster or hurricane preparedness plan. It’s important to begin to rebuild and fix the damage as quickly as possible.
[1:16] Contact any suppliers and vendors that you need to get your product back in line or to halt production for a period of time. Having things, like building supplies, prepared ahead of the storm so you’re not faced with inflationary pricing after the storm can greatly lower the cost of a potential claim.
[1:45] Have generators and fuel for the generators ahead of the storm. Fuel can be scarce or much more expensive post-storm. Thinking through those things ahead of the storm can help you lessen the impact of the storm after it’s over.
[2:08] In the last episode, Frank and Prentice talked about the 40% of small businesses that never reopen after closing for a hurricane. How can a business rebuild to ensure that this does not happen to them? Once you are allowed back on your property, assess the damages and make any immediate temporary fixes you can to minimize future loss.
[2:46] Document and photograph everything, including temporary fixes. As a Stephens Insurance customer, you will have been in touch with Stephens before and during the storm and loss adjusters will already be engaged and en route to see your property as quickly as possible to get you to the rebuilding phase and reopen as quickly as possible.
[3:17] Sometimes, lessons learned are the best way to revise your disaster recovery plans. Even after planning and running tabletop drills, testing your plan through a storm is the best way to reveal potential gaps to fix for the next disaster. Look back and see what you missed, so the next time you will be prepared even better.
[4:07] Stephens Insurance calls their clients proactively to advise them when a storm is tracking toward them, so even a business without a formal plan in place can take necessary precautions prior to that storm making landfall.
[4:54] If a company gets into the middle of a storm and they still don’t have a plan, they should call Stephens and the risk management, loss control, and claims departments will help them the best they can to mitigate loss and help them through that process.
[5:16] You need to look at all aspects of your company, from accounting to human resources, to IT, to suppliers — all aspects, so after the storm, Stephens and you can start over looking at all those areas of your business and help build a plan around any potential losses to any of those areas of your business.
[6:20] Not everything can be mitigated or avoided, so at that point, you would look to purchase insurance to cover those losses. That’s where Stephens Insurance can really be a team member for you to dovetail your insurance coverage and make sure all of your potential losses are potentially covered.
[6:52] Stay tuned for more insights from the Stephens Insurance team in the near future.
[6:56] For more information on this topic, please contact Stephens Insurance at 1-800-643-9691. To listen to more Stephens Viewpoints, check out our website. Insurance products offered through Stephens Insurance, LLC, National Producer Number 8844362. Securities offered by Stephens, Inc., Member NYSE, SIPC.
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