What to Do if Your Hickory, NC Business Faces Disaster
Nobody really likes to think about it, but what do you do when your business suffers from disaster? If you’re like most Hickory business owners, you’ll probably stress yourself out and worry about getting everything back to the way it was before.
We can offer prevention tips all day long, but ultimately, your business is still at risk for all kinds of disasters. If that time comes, you’ll certainly be looking for answers, and fortunately, we’re here to provide them.
Consult Your Emergency Readiness Plan
If you don’t know what an Emergency Readiness Plan (ERP) is, it might be too late to explain. An ERP is a detailed document that outlines everything you need to know to respond to an emergency. It includes emergency shut-off locations, contact information for emergency personnel and other relevant people, and much more. It’s an essential outline for any business to have.
If you have one and you’re in an emergency situation, locate it and act accordingly. If you don'thave one and you’re not in an emergency situation, contact us and we’ll put together an Emergency Readiness Plan for you free of charge!
Contact Your Insurance
This information should be in your Emergency Readiness Plan, but if not, then find their information and contact them immediately. Besides getting the ball rolling on the process, your representative will also provide you with other important information for you to get your operations running again.
However, be aware that although your insurance representative will make recommendations about who you should use for services, you ultimately get to make those decisions, so feel free to use somebody you know and trust!
Call Your Local Cleanup & Restoration Company
You want your business to be up and running again, but if your place of operations has severe water, fire, or storm damage, then you’ll have to address that first. There will likely be several different cleanup and restoration companies in your area, but consider looking for these qualities in a company:
- They have a great reputation
- They have the people and resources to handle the job quickly
- They are responsive, patient, and friendly
If you haven’t called anyone yet, our team at SERVPRO of Alexander, Caldwell, Burke and Catawba Counties has all of the qualities listed above and is ready at a moment’s notice, so we encourage you to call us now at (828) 396-1070!
Make Alternative Arrangements
Depending on the amount and type of damage your business has endured, it’s possible that you’ll have lost a lot of assets. So while that might mean you can’t operate from your building or use damaged equipment/machinery, it doesn’t mean you have to sit around and wait! While there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, there are a few different options to consider:
• Use an alternative space while yours is being restored. This isn’t possible for every business, but consider temporarily using a different space so you can keep operations running. For example, one baker rented out a local church’s kitchen while she waited for hers to be restored. If you’re a retail location, it will be difficult to set up in a temporary new space, so consider selling your merchandise online!
• Contact your customers (if applicable). If you get routine business from customer orders, let them know upfront what happened. Depending on your current relationship with them, they may be willing to wait for a new order or pay upfront to help you out. At the very least, communication with your customers will let them know that you care.
• Look for outside help. The sad reality is that about 40-60% of small businesses will never reopen their doors after a disaster, according to FEMA. It’s for this reason that we encourage you to utilize all available resources—including family, friends, and community members. There’s no shame in asking for help!
Focus on Reopening
There are a lot of obstacles that arise after a disaster, but it’s not impossible to reopen your business! Take things one step at a time and work with your staff and customers as much as possible. Between you and your staff, your insurance, and your local cleanup and restoration company, your Hickory-area business can be back open in no time!