Hurricane Sandy left an estimated 8 million households and small businesses without power and caused what is likely to be billions of dollars’ worth of damage.
If your small business has been impacted by hurricane Sandy, there are steps that you can take to quickly get up and running again:
Assess the Damage, Take Pictures and Videos
Use your mobile devices and begin digitally recording the damage in videos and still images and be sure to write down all of your losses. This data will be vital when making your insurance claims.
Re-read Your Insurance Policy, Contact Your Agent ASAP
It is likely that you will have some disputes with your insurance company over what is covered and what is not. Be sure you have read the policy over and know what it states and do not delay in placing a claim. There will be thousands of small business owners filing claims, time is of the essence.
Utilize the Small Business Administration (SBA) Resources
The agency’s website has a page dedicated to helping small businesses recover from natural disasters. Use your mobile devices to access the information.
Apply for an SBA Disaster Loan
The SBA Disaster Loan decision-making process should be quick because the agency’s mission is to help small business owners get up and running again. Apply for one if you qualify.
Meet With Your Accountant
If you are looking for a SBA Disaster Loan or other type of small business loan, having accurate accounting is essential. Get your books in order and meet with your accountant if possible.
Secure a Line of Credit
While you might be among the lucky small business owners who safely rode the storm out, others may not have been so fortunate. Those to whom you have extended credit may take longer than usual to pay their bills or, worse yet, they may go out of business altogether. That leaves you with expected income that you may never receive.
Additionally, if you had to close for a few days, you will have lost revenue. Having a line of credit available for such instances is vital to make sure that you have working capital and the ability to meet payroll.
Every entrepreneur has invested a great deal of time, energy and financial resources toward growing his or her business. Before the next storm hits, some things to keep in mind are:
- Determine if you are satisfied with the insurance company’s resolution. If not, look for a new insurer.
- Continuously backup all your records on your computers. This is a good practice not only in times of disaster, but also throughout the year.
- If you lost revenue because you did not invest in a generator, don’t make the same mistake twice. Buy one so that you have it before the next storm hits.
Hurricane Sandy, Brooklyn, NY Photo via Shutterstock