For six months each year—June 1 to November 30—the watch is on for hurricanes in the Atlantic. Last month, we told you how to develop an action plan and included some of the ways you can help protect your assets before a storm hits. But that’s not the only plan you should have. You also need to know what to do to deal with the damage afterward so you can get your business up and running quickly.
After the hurricane
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Protect yourself: Be careful when entering a damaged building. Report any downed power lines or gas leaks. Keep the electricity turned off if the building’s flooded.
- Protect your property: Take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage, like boarding up windows and salvaging undamaged items.
- Report the loss: Contact your insurance agent or insurer as soon as you can. Provide a general description of the damage and have your policy number handy if possible. Write down the adjuster’s name, phone number, and work schedule as soon as you have them.
- Prepare a list: Prepare a list of damaged or lost items for your adjuster. Keep damaged items or portions of them until the claim adjuster has visited.
- Record the damage: Consider photographing or videotaping the damage to document your claim.
- Keep receipts: Keep records and receipts for all additional expenses—like relocation.
- Return claim forms: Fill out your insurance company’s claim forms and return them as soon as possible.
- Be careful cleaning: Use protective eyewear and gloves if available. Adjusters may tell you to hire a professional cleaning service.
- Build stronger: When it’s time to start repairs or rebuild, work with your contractor to make the new structure disaster-resistant.
Review your coverage
Remember, now is the time to look at your current coverage before storms become an issue. Review your insurance policy to make sure you have protection for any buildings, structures, vehicles, equipment, personal property, and crops that are part of your business. Then, keep your policy up-to-date and notify your agent of renovations or new structures on the property.
Your Hortica agent is ready to answer your questions and advise you on the best ways to minimize your risk. Talk with them today.
For more information on safety preparation for your business, check out the Hortica Resources section.
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