Business & Finance

Seven Ways New Jersey Business Owners Can Plan Ahead for Hurricane Season

ada7a5066ad4ef6945a0_Newman_Photo_credit_Jim_Alcon.jpg
ada7a5066ad4ef6945a0_Newman_Photo_credit_Jim_Alcon.jpg

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is calling for an above average hurricane season in 2017. Five tropical storms have already developed this year, including Tropical Storm Emily, which damaged businesses in Florida.

As the height of hurricane season approaches, is your business prepared for power outages, flooding, property damage, lost work time and more?  The longer your business is not operating, the more likely you are to lose customers permanently to your competitors; in fact, up to 40% of small businesses never re-open after a disaster. 

No one wants to consider these misfortunes happening to their business, but with advance planning, businesses will be in a much better position to survive a natural disaster. The New Jersey Business Action Center has seven strategies to help small businesses ride out the next big storm:

Sign Up for E-News

 

1.    House documents on the cloud, not your office computer:  Most businesses keep on-site records and files that are essential to normal operations. To reduce your vulnerability, determine which records, files, and materials are most important, and back them up. These may include income tax forms, accounting software files, customer contact lists, insurance policies, strategy documents and passwords. From there, save these files on the cloud so you can access them from anywhere. 

2.    Keep office property secure:  Raise computers above the flood level and move them away from large windows; move heavy and fragile objects to low shelves, and secure equipment that could move or fall during a heavy storm. In addition, hire a cyber security expert to make sure your systems are secure and virus free.  Protect your most important documents, credit card numbers, email correspondence and more by hiring an expert to set up a secure system well in advance.

3.    Plan for business continuity:  Establish a clear plan for decision-making if you or your business partners are incapacitated. Ensure passwords as well as keys, alarm codes, phone forwarding, etc., are provided to trusted employees in the event of a disaster. Consider financial obligations you will have during interruption, such as payroll and debt service, and ensure a system is in place to pay bills electronically. Establish a social media presence for your business and use it to communicate with your customers and suppliers about your business’ status. 

4.  Make sure your insurance is current:  Review your commercial insurance coverage with an agent or your insurance center; specifically check the status of your business’s interruption insurance. If disaster occurs, you can file a business interruption insurance claim detailing any lost income.  For insurance and tax purposes, be sure to maintain written and photographic inventories of all important materials and equipment, and store in a safety deposit box if possible. 

5. Consider installing an emergency generator:  Powerful storms may cause power disruption and leave your business vulnerable. Even businesses that are not severely damaged by a storm can suffer losses because of the interruption of normal operations or the loss of perishable stock. Back-up power generation will help protect your data, your perishable inventory and speed the process of getting your business back up and running.

6. Identify a backup location: If the primary location of your business is destroyed or severely damaged, you should identify a backup destination where employees can congregate and clients can visit. This will help create a sense of normalcy and ensure clients that all is well. Backup locations could range from a local coffee shop to a large garage or dry basement with Wi-Fi access.  

7. Don’t forget simple planning: Sometimes the simplest emergency plans are the most effective. Always have extra sets of batteries for when power goes out and critical electronics need to be kept running. Important files should have a written backup somewhere in a safe and secure location like a safe or metal filing cabinet. Have a disaster supply kit handy that includes a battery-powered radio to access National Weather Service information, a battery-powered electronic device charger, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, flashlights, extra batteries, waterproof plastic bags and more. 

Although we can’t prevent man-made or natural disasters, business owners can take proactive measures to minimize disruption and reduce loss so you can return to normal operations as soon as possible.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Verona/Cedar Grove

Essex County Announces Free Summer Concert Series Lineup

June 24, 2018

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ – Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. invites the public to visit the Essex County Park System and enjoy the 2018 Essex Country Free Summer Music Concert Series. Upcoming events feature Jazz Concerts, a House Music Festival, Jukebox Legends, and Julian and Dominique.

“Our Free Concert Series offers a diverse lineup of performers who will ...

Cedar Grove Police Blotter

June 18, 2018

On June 14, 2018 at 12:13 a.m., Ptl. Nicole Witel stopped a vehicle after a random license plate check revealed that the registration was suspended. A subsequent investigation led to the arrest of a 23 year old male driver from Montclair for driving while suspended. He was processed and released with a summons to appear in municipal court.

On June 16, 2018 at 7:00 a.m., Ptl. Raymond Cassella ...

NJ Teen Steers His Mustang Into Tractor Supply Store

June 20, 2018

MONROE TWP., N.J. — James Duffey, 18 of Garwood, drove his 2014 mustang through the doors of the Tractor Supply in Monroe Township, N.J. on Tuesday, June 12, about 12:30 p.m.

But it isn't what you think. Duffey is a lot like other high school Seniors. He likes to go out with his friends for a soda. In Duffey's case, his friend is a 4-year-old American Mustang he named "Star ...

Susan G. Komen North Jersey Increases Program Funding by 15% for 2018-2019 and Awards 13 Grants to 11 Local Community Non-Profit Organizations

June 21, 2018

Susan G. Komen North Jersey Increases Program Funding by 15% for 2018-2019

and Awards 13 Grants to 11 Local Community Non-Profit Organizations

June 21, 2018  – Susan G. Komen North Jersey announced that it will award a total of 13 grants to 11 local community non-profit organizations in its nine-county service area for 2018-2019, with an increase in total program funding at 15% ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...