CBIZ Sattler Adventure Sports Blog

Insights and tips on how to protect your adventure sports business, giving you and your guests peace of mind.

Ward, Hayden
/ Categories: BLOG Articles

Weather Disaster Preparedness

Spring Weather Preparedness for Outfitters

From fires to floods, earthquakes to hurricanes, disaster can strike anytime, anywhere, and often with little to no advance warning. According to the  Insurance Information Institute, as many as 40% of businesses forced to suspend operations due to a natural or human-caused disaster never reopen their doors. Here are our best tips for keeping your adventure sports business prepared for disastrous weather.

Create a Plan

The difference between surviving a business interruption and going belly-up often hinges on one factor—preparation. The best way to prevent a disaster from putting the future of your business at risk is to have a proper continuity plan in place.

Business continuity planning involves:

1. Defining potential risks

2. Determining how those risks will affect operations

3. Implementing safeguards and procedures designed to mitigate those risks

4. Testing those procedures to ensure that they work

5. Periodically reviewing the process to make sure that it is up to date

Start the process by establishing a planning team tasked with developing the continuity plan. Typical goals of your plan should include:

  • Protecting the safety of employees, visitors, contractors and others at risk from hazards at the facility
  • Maintaining customer service by minimizing interruptions or disruptions of business operations
  • Protecting facilities, physical assets and electronic information
  • Preventing environmental contamination
  • Protecting your organization’s brand, image and reputation

 

The planning process should take an “all hazards” approach. The probability that a specific hazard will impact your outfitter business is hard to determine—that’s why it’s important to consider many different threats and hazards and the likelihood they will occur.

Implementing the plan means more than simply exercising the plan during an emergency. It means acting on recommendations made during the hazard analysis, integrating the plan into company operations, training employees and evaluating the plan on an ongoing basis. Employees will need to be trained on how to react during these situations if customers are in the building at the time.

Prepare Your Outfitter for a Potential Disaster

It’s equally important that your adventure sports business takes steps to protect against disasters:

  • Keep copies of insurance policies and other critical documents in a safe and accessible location (e.g. a fireproof safe).
  • Have telephone call lists available for all key personnel so staff members can be contacted during non-working hours from any location. Review procedures for notifying employees that your facility is closed. Remind employees that they should never attempt to enter areas that are closed by police or other emergency responders.
  • Check available emergency supplies such as flashlights, batteries, emergency generators/fuel, patching materials such as plastic sheeting, wood 2x4s, duct tape, spare fire extinguishers, first aid kits, etc.

 

General Severe Weather Safety Practices

In a severe weather emergency, all employees should be aware of their responsibilities and the actions they should take to protect themselves and others.

  • If severe weather is possible, tune in to local radio or television stations, check local weather reports online or look for alerts or warnings on your phone.
  • If a tornado warning is issued or the weather becomes severe, seek immediate cover in the company’s pre-designated shelter area.
    • Severe Thunderstorm Watch—Severe thunderstorms are possible.
    • Severe Thunderstorm Warning—Severe thunderstorms are occurring.
    • Tornado Watch—Tornadoes are possible.
    • Tornado Warning—A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.
  • If you are unable to reach the pre-designated shelter area, take cover in rooms with few or no windows—such as restrooms, kitchens or hallways—on the lowest possible floor.
  • Climb under heavy furniture, if possible.
  • Cover your face and head with your coat or jacket to protect yourself from flying materials (e.g., glass).
  • Remain safely distanced from all windows and doors.

 

Steps to Take after Disastrous Weather

In the aftermath of a man-made or natural disaster, you will have a number of concerns to account for as you prepare to reopen for business.

Assess damages by:

  • Making note of any structural damage to building(s)
  • Noting any damage to equipment, machinery or company vehicles.
  • Noting any lost or damaged inventory (both materials for business use and products for sale)
  • As they come to your attention, compile a list of concerns that must be addressed before you are able to reopen.
  • Contact employees, suppliers and customers to inform them of any disruptions in operation and an expected date when they can anticipate it to resume.
  • File a claim with your business interruption insurance provider.
  • Determine the amount of lost income the disaster has caused.
  • Keep detailed records of all expenses incurred during the recovery process.

 

Together We Will Weather the Storm -- CBIZ Adventure Sports Insurance

No business owner wants to think about what would happen to the business if disaster strikes, but it’s a reality that all outfitter owners must face. We can guide you step by step throughout the planning process, from assessing hazards to implementing safeguards to ensuring your plan stays up to date. Our coverages will help guide you through unforeseen losses. Get the protection you need today and  request a free CBIZ Sattler Adventure Sport Insurance quote. Worry less and adventure more!

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. In an actual claim situation, coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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CBIZ Sattler Adventure Sports Insurance, a division of CBIZ Insurance Services, Inc., is the largest insurer of adventure sports businesses in the United States. As part of an $850 million New York Stock Exchange traded company (CBZ), we developed a policy coverage to meet the needs for those in the recreation and outfitting industries. Our policy is underwritten by an A.M. Best Rated A++ (Superior) company.

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