Preparing Your Business for Severe Winter Weather

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Severe winter weather can disrupt your business and put a damper on productivity. You can prepare for those potential disruptions by distilling your business into three important categories and then taking steps in advance to prevent and protect against them. 

Employees

Develop a communications plan.

Depending on the size of the office, this plan should detail primary communication channels and what to do if you cannot be reached.

You can use VoIP solutions, instant chat, or collaboration and sharing tools like DropBox or Google Drive.

Consider cloud connectivity and remote working setups.

The key to weathering severe storms is remote work setups that ease employees’ capability to connect and collaborate from almost anywhere. Keeping your employees connected is the foundation of your business.

Don’t neglect security.

Disruptions create perfect opportunities for hackers. Some of the biggest cybersecurity threats come from user error.

Related: 10 Cyber Security Mistakes to Avoid

Create a system to rotate passwords – your employees’ home networks may not be the most secure. You don’t want a Netflix binge to result in a data breach.

Customers

Develop a communications plan.

How will you notify your customers of outages or extreme delays due to severe weather? This is where email and social media really shine.

You can even develop a social channel specifically for communicating during severe weather and states of emergencies.

Update and reiterate any existing customer service policies.

What effect will outages or extreme delays have on any existing policies and transactions? Be as upfront and clear as possible to avoid customer service mishaps.

Don’t neglect security and consider cloud backups.

Cybersecurity and guarding against the risk of data loss requires vigilance – so it bears repeating. Ensure the systems and servers used to collect customer information are secure against physical intrusion or corruption through power loss.

Property

Develop a communications plan.

Include provisions for snow and ice removal, generators and other backup power sources, and evacuation routes for employees.

Secure the property and install safety measures.

If you haven’t already, install industrial carpeting, mats, and/or runners near entrances and in lobbies to absorb moisture and ward off indoor slip-and-fall incidents.

Document everything and review your policies.

Review your insurance policies to confirm that property coverage is adequate and up to date.

The property consists of your physical space and the equipment within it: furniture, computers, servers, hard drives, phones, files, etc.

If necessary, take photos of your offices, warehouse, and inventory to help facilitate replacement in the event of a claim.

After The Storm and What To Do Next

Businesses affected by winter storm Jonas, then you’re probably dealing with melting snow and assessing any damage to your residence, motor vehicles or business this week.

The first thing you should do is to immediately contact your agent to begin the process of filing of a claim, especially if you were in the areas that experienced flooding.

Focus on collaboration, communication, and preparation as the rule rather than an exception demanded by weather or other life events and these events will be much less disruptive when they do happen.

The Ross Maghan Agency may not have mops but we do have General Liability policies that can protect your business and your employees when you need it most.

If you’d like to review your business owners policy or get a quote on commercial umbrella insurance or give us a call at (732) 566-0003 today!