What to Do After a Hurricane: The First 10 Steps For Businesses After the Storm
Hurricanes can be disastrous, causing billions of dollars in damage.
The first steps you take after the storm passes can make or break your company. Even if you have a solid insurance plan, there are steps you need to take to receive payment.
Find out what to do after a hurricane in this step-by-step guide.
Assess the Damage
As soon as you know it’s safe, assess the damage to your building.
Only walk where it’s safe. Avoid downed power lines and any metal objects close to downed lines.
Take pictures and videos of the damage for your insurance claims. Document everything and keep receipts of all your repair bills.
Hire a Restoration Service
Water left untreated after 48 hours leads to mold, mildew, and bacteria. One of the first steps after a hurricane should always be a water extraction service.
Some restoration services evaluate your disaster plan before a storm at no cost and put you on a preferred list. So if a disaster strikes, they’ll come to preferred-list companies first.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Read your insurance policy and contact an insurance agent if you have questions. Find out what you have covered and what you don’t.
Schedule an insurance inspection. Don’t complete any major repairs until after the inspection.
File Insurance Claims
One of the first things a business should do after a hurricane is to file an insurance claim. Many policies require you file a claim within a certain time frame.
When dealing with insurance claims, documentation of the damage will help speed up the process.
Obtain Legal Aid
Use services like the National Disaster Legal Aid to find legal help if you need it. Many of these resources help businesses with issues like filing insurance claims.
There are also government assistance programs and relief benefits for people affected by natural disasters.
Recover and Backup Data
Remove the hard drives from your computers and find a company capable of data recovery. Only a professional can treat computers or office equipment exposed to water.
Always backup your data on a regular basis to prevent data loss.
Repair Damaged Equipment
Make note of your damaged equipment. Take pictures and consult your insurance company on your next step.
Consult a professional or seek legal aid before making major repairs or replacing expensive equipment.
Determine Proper Disposal Procedures
Find out about your local disposal procedures. Some items in good shape may be recyclable or repurposed.
Apply for Financial Help
If you need more financial help, consider applying for a loan. An SBA Disaster Loan can cover any expenses your insurance company won’t cover. These loans are low-interest and available to businesses of all sizes.
Knowing What to Do After a Hurricane Can Save Your Business
Taking action after a hurricane is crucial to prevent costly repairs and additional expenses.
Now that you know what to do after a hurricane, create a disaster plan to prepare for next time.
At URI, we own the equipment needed to get your business back and running again. Contact us to find out about our preferred list and how we can help you.