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Prepping your business for severe weather

Severe WeatherAlexander Graham Bell is credited with saying, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

Brent Bates, Hortica’s Director of Safety Services, couldn’t agree more. Preparation is very important for the green industry, especially when it comes to severe weather.

“No industry is affected more by catastrophic weather events than the horticultural industry,” Bates said. “Other industries are impacted, but severe weather really takes a toll on our niche.”

In this industry, Bates says nothing has more of an impact than weather, from the initial planting season in spring to the overall success for the year. Weather is the key factor in profitability.

There is a six-week period where the vast amount of action in our industry occurs. Because our industry survives in greenhouses and unique structures, weather can inflict major damage to property. Tornadoes, blizzards, and hurricanes are all major threats. However, high winds and hail can also inflict damage.

Proactive planning

There are many reasons to stay in touch with your insurance agent, including some important reminders we’ll share below. But one reason to stay in regular contact is to stay informed.

Agents are aware of seasonal weather predictions, such as an El Niño year or if winter will come with above-average snowfall. Early information can give you a jumpstart on preparation.

Be ready before something happens, not during. Think three to six months in advance. Insurance agents can provide resources to help you get ready. Be prepared to help mitigate losses and lessen the impact of severe storms on your business.

Other proactive measures you can take now include:

  • Reviewing your policy
  • Updating information as needed
  • Forming a prep team from all areas of your business
  • Establishing a budget for preparation measures
  • Saving business data and storing in a secondary location
  • Knowing your inventory

Policy review

According to Bates, a business owner should meet with his or her agent on an annual basis.

“You just want to turn it over to your agent and let them put together your insurance policy, but it’s not that simple,” Bates said. “There’s nothing more important than at least once a year going in-depth with your policy to review how you’ll be protected against loss.”

As your business changes, your insurance needs change. Thus, your policy should change, too. Your agent needs to know how your business is run to put together the proper insurance product. Items to consider include:

  • Do you have enough coverage to rebuild?
  • Do you have enough coverage to replace equipment?
  • Do you know what your deductibles are?
  • Should you carry a larger deductible based on forecasts?

“There is nothing more stressful than experiencing a catastrophic event and you see the potential that your business will fail,” Bates said. “Taking steps early helps you succeed and move forward.”

For more information on prepping for severe weather, contact your Hortica agent. And you can listen to a podcast on how to prepare your business for severe weather, produced in conjunction with GIE Media.

Related links:

For more information on safety preparation for your business, check out the Hortica Resources section.