No one wants to think about a natural disaster endangering their home or business. Unfortunately, natural disasters can happen at any time, to anyone. While wildfires currently rage in California, hurricane season is nearing its peak on the Atlantic coast. You need a plan to ensure that your business is as protected as possible should the weather turn nasty. We’re prepared a natural disaster business checklist to help you get through it.
1. Train Your Employees in Advance
While the skies are still sunny, gather your employees and walk them through your natural disaster business checklist. Make sure they know what steps to take and how to take them so when adrenaline is flowing and there’s no time to think everyone can operate on autopilot.
2. Print Out This Plan
If wind, rain, or fire knock out your power, you’re going to be glad this natural disaster business checklist is in a safe place. Print it out and store it where you will keep your important documents in a waterproof, fireproof case. If you need it (although we hope you never do), it will be right there waiting to give you peace of mind.
3. Take It Seriously!
If a severe weather alert is issued or a siren sounds, don’t ignore it. While it can sometimes seem like weather forecasters make mountains out of molehills, you don’t ever want to be in a position where you’re caught off guard because you didn’t listen.
4. Secure Your Property
Start this step first since it will likely take the most time. The exact steps you’ll need to take will depend on the type of natural disaster you’re facing, but consider things like boarding up windows, taking down wall-mounted item, securing large furniture and shelving, and putting sandbags around your doors and windows.
5. Protect Vital Documents
Any business critical or sensitive information (including employee records) should be gathered up and put in a safe place – a fireproof safe, a waterproof container, or removed from the premises entirely. Keep an external hard drive handy to copy important files from your computer – or take it with you if it’s a laptop.
6. Make Sure Your Credit Card Terminal Batches
Before you leave your business, manually batch out your credit card terminal to make sure that your business receives any funds you’re owed from transactions you’ve already made that day. While your credit card processor can help you recover the funds if the terminal is damaged or destroyed and you forgot to batch out, the process will be slow and add stress to an already extremely tense time.
7. Unplug Everything
Right before you walk out the door, unplug everything that you can. This will lower the risk of fire. If flooding is a concern, move electronics, power strips, cords, etc. off of the floor. Cover what you can with waterproof sheeting in case you experience a roof leak as well.
It Pays to Be Prepared
While we certainly hope that you never have to deal with anything like this, it’s important to have a plan. Your credit card processor can help you make sure that your payment systems are as protected as possible to minimize the hiccups you experience during recovery. If your processor isn’t willing or able to help you with your natural disaster business checklist, it’s time to switch to one who will and can. Give 360 Payments a try. Call us at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We’d love to show you why we’re a different kind of credit card processor.
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