Every business that is out in the elements is going to be at risk of damage in a storm. The key for your business is not to let the profits slip while you manage any storm damage. You cannot control the weather and having premises in the great outdoors is always going to be a risk. When you work in a safe and comfortable rented office, you generally don’t have to worry about the cost of repairs in a storm and those repairs that you do have, won’t be comparable. You can take all the best precautions but you can’t hold back the elements.
The key is recovery. Your business needs to keep going even if there is damage to the outside. Obviously, if you are running an outdoor workshop or even a gas station, then your gas station repair times may mean you are not open for business for a few days. This is generally a health and safety issue more than anything, as you cannot open a gas station for public use when there are broken panels and power lines that have gone down. There are a few things that you can do to help yourself rebuild your business so you are up and running again, and you should take as much advice as you can do rebuild.
Legally – and ideally – you would have taken out business insurance when you first opened the doors of your company. After a storm has passed, you need to assess the damage that has been done to your business and report this to your insurance company. There are things you can do in the meantime to protect your premises from further damage and this can include covering any broken windows with tarp and cardboard panels. You should also shut off the electricity and the gas if you are able and if not, you should call a professional to do it to you. These actions can prevent further damage to the property. Keep records of anything you spend having to do this as this can later be reclaimed.
You have to do a meticulous inspection of the interior and exterior of your company but if the damage from a storm is too great, you need to have the fire service do this for you. You should be checking for structural damage, foundation damage and you should call an electrician to make sure that it is safe to turn it on again. Storm damage isn’t just wind, but debris can smash into your company building and turn it into a hazard. You also have to think about water damage to your property and as water needs to recede before you switch the power back on, you will need professional advice.
While you are doing all of the above, you need to keep very clear records of everything you are inspecting because you need to have information at hand to rebuild and keep things going as best you can.