California’s wildfires can destroy homes, lives and even livelihoods.
Every year, wildfires cause business owners to worry about their families, as well as their life’s work in their business. They may be able to evacuate, but they cannot simply empty or move their business with them. So, what can business owners do to protect their business against wildfires?
What are the risk factors of the wildfires?
Of course, native Californians already understand the risks that wildfires can create. However, the risk factors that can pose serious problems for businesses often include:
- Individuals receive little warning before the fires impact them;
- The wildfires can last for long periods, preventing operation; and
- The fires can destroy the business’ location and equipment.
Business owners might spend years investing their time and money into their business, and wildfires can take all of that in mere hours. Losing the physical business on top of the financial losses the fires can cause can leave business owners facing considerable challenges.
Planning can help minimize risks
It is important to note that there is really no way to avoid risks entirely before a wildfire happens. Wildfires are unpredictable and fast-moving. However, business owners can create emergency plans to help minimize risks as much as possible in these cases and keep everyone safe. For example, an emergency plan should include:
- Reviewing the insurance policy;
- Obtaining emergency equipment; and
- Storing important information and assets in a fireproof safe.
However, most options to minimize risks are available after the fires are out.
What should business owners do after the fire?
Generally, insurance can help business owners safeguard their assets when disasters, like the wildfires, occur. Additionally, business owners might be able to take legal action if parties are found liable for causing the wildfires. Business owners could recover restitution in these cases.
Regardless, after a wildfire, it is critical for business owners to:
- Document the damage to their business with photographs;
- Take an inventory of product and financial damage; and
- Keep track of future losses from the fires and getting the business running again.
First and foremost, business owners should ensure that they and their families are safe. Suffering financial and physical losses can indeed be devastating for a business, but one’s safety is more important.