(when originally this was written)…..Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina tore apart the gulf coast, and Louisiana and Mississippi. Will the
se people ever be whole again? We grieve for those who lost their lives, but what about those who have lost everything of material importance? It is incredibly hard to place a value on it, but of the quickest ways to recover is to keep working and bring income in, but how can it be done when your world is turned upside down?
The question for today is very simple: How does one recover their business and get rolling again?
Perhaps the solution is not so simple. In order to prepare for loss, one must assume the worst case scenario and build a plan of action to respond. In the world of events, that means so much. If you travel to events, how will you get there? If your business records are gone, how do you know who to call and who you are serving? If your equipment is gone, how do you get replacement equipment in place? If the venue is gone, will there be an event? If your suppliers are no longer operating, how will you get needed items for your event?
The best I can come up with at the moment are ways to protect yourself so you can keep rolling should something unthinkable happen:
– Backup, BACKUP, BACKUP: Make sure all of your important files, videos, photos, contracts, insurance records, contact info, and computer data is backed up and secured offsite, even perhaps out of the area where a trusted associate can get to it on your behalf. Keep important documents sealed in plastic and locked away in a safe deposit box, copies of everything safely stowed out of the area and somewhere you can find them. Insurance documents are key to proving you have coverage when a loss happens, as one of our associates found out when his business burned down a few years ago. His insurance company denied claims until his saved papers proved he was covered!
– Be an Association Member: If you are in an association with a national presence, members who learn about your plight can be a great resource to help keep your business running until you are back at 100%. They can get you loaner/replacement equipment, labor, or any assistance you need to make sure your clients are not affected by your loss.
– Cash is King: Having cash opens doors in an emergency. You can rent, purchase, lease, or otherwise get what you need when ATMs and credit card terminals are down. If you have an emergency fund, get cash from it before the banks close.
– Phone Forwarding: Most phones can be forwarded to other phones with just a few strokes of the keypad on your mobile phone. Forward your business number to someone who can take messages for you until you are prepared to answer the phone again.
– Get OUT!: If you know your area will take some damage, load what you can and get to a safe area. Give yourself time to get out ahead of the storm. Do not wait until the last minute!
– Protect Your Casa: Make sure your family, pets, and home are secure.
– Radio and Phone: Make sure you have batteries and a good radio. Save the phone for calls and texts.
This is just a bare-bones list of advice. Each area of the country has its own unique challenges. Think about what it would take to keep you safe and working should something happen and plan for it.
Filed Under: Business, Performing
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