People toss around the word disaster quite freely these days. Even relatively minor incidents are promoted to disaster status: missing a two-foot putt, a burned dinner, missing a text or email, an uncharged phone battery—often considered disasters by those affected. However, when a true disaster strikes our homes or dealerships, our reality changes and so does our concept of the word.
A Real Disaster
Real disasters come in all types and sizes. Some are huge, like earthquakes; some are smaller, like a flooded basement. But, if you’re the one affected by the disaster, size is irrelevant—its impact is still devastating and overwhelming.
And, if you’re a business owner, you know the double jeopardy you face from a natural or man-made disaster: it not only affects you personally, it has probably damaged your parts inventory, your showroom, your shop, and your outdoor lot as well. Your company’s ability to deal with disasters is crucial not only to its future, but also to your community’s resilience. How will you, as an owner, react to the challenges that result from a situation that threatens to put you out of business?
Could Your Business Survive?
One useful program available through Federated Insurance is Open for Business-EZ(OFB-EZ®), a business continuity tool provided by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety® (IBHS®) and designed to help even the smallest dealership plan for disaster recovery.
By using OFB-EZ, you can create and customize a disaster recovery plan today, and have it ready if and when you need it. As your dealership evolves and you make changes in facilities, personnel, vendors, or operations, you can update your plan immediately, ensuring it’s always accurate and current. Federated clients can access the OFB-EZ toolkit through Federated’s Shield Network®.
Once you have created your plan, it is wise to save one or more printed copies in addition to the electronic version, and to store at least one paper copy offsite from your dealership. It could be days, or even weeks, for power or communication systems to be repaired after a disaster. Having a printed copy allows you to implement your plan immediately without having to wait for Internet connections to be restored.
The IBHS (www.disastersafety.org) website is designed to also help protect peoples’ homes and personal assets by creating awareness of the likely perils that can occur in a specific region. This site’s homepage includes a ZIP Code tool designed to concentrate the efforts of home and business owners in preparing for specific perils, for example floods, wildfires, and tornados, among others. Resources such as best practices, assessments, guides, and checklists are all available to help protect homes and businesses before a disaster hits.
Disasters of all types can threaten dealerships and homes regardless of location. A community cannot survive a disaster unless businesses survive, and a business cannot survive unless its employees survive. Having a solid disaster plan in place can help give you peace of mind and increase the odds of your dealership staying open for business should the worst happen.
Jon Medo is a national account executive with Federated Insurance, EDA’s recommended insurance provider for property/casualty and workers compensation. Federated operates in 47 states.
This article is for general information and risk prevention only and should not be considered legal or other expert advice. The recommendations presented may help reduce the risk of loss but are not guaranteed to do so. Qualified counsel should be sought with questions specific to your circumstances. © 2018 Federated Mutual Insurance Company.