It’s peak tornado season and this year, it seems a devastating storm occurs daily. Severe weather forms quickly and almost unexpectedly, and while we can’t stop storms from happening, there are tips and strategies you can follow when the unexpected occurs:
1. Be Safe.
Make sure it is safe for you, your employees and vendors to proceed with any inspections. Be on the lookout for fallen debris, downed power lines, flooding and building damage that may create a hazard. Check with your local authorities to ensure it is safe and allowable to visit your locations before proceeding.
2. Prevent Additional Damage.
Clean up and make any temporary repairs needed to prevent further damage. Board up your location if needed. Secure windows, equipment, doors, signs, furniture, etc. You may need to put a tarp on your roof or clean up spills and debris. Attempt to stop any water leaks. Report emergencies and hazards to the proper authorities. Check all electrical and equipment to ensure if it safe to use. Repair or secure any unsafe conditions.
3. Review your insurance coverage and contact your carrier to report the claim.
Your business property may include coverage for your building, business personal property and business income. The overall damage and your policy will dictate your limits and any deductibles you may need to contribute. If you are unsure what your current insurance program covers, reach out to your trusted advisor before it's too late.
4. Inspect damages and document your loss.
Your claims professional will need to inspect and evaluate your damages. Retain parts and pieces if you can. If you must dispose of any property, be sure to document the loss with photos and/or video. Keep any receipts or invoices.
5. Engage vendors and service contractors for repairs/mitigation.
You may need to contact a plumber, an electrician or other professionals for assistance in making repairs and restoring your location to its original condition. Talk with your insurance adjuster to confirm whether the expenses will be covered.