Besides being destructive, stressful, and dangerous, hurricanes are incredibly expensive. According to USA Today, the cost of an average hurricane is $21.6 billion! That’s a HUGE hit to local economies and sometimes it can take many years for communities to recover from damages.
In fact, the top two costliest hurricanes of all time happened right in our own backyard, with Houston’s Hurricane Harvey costing taxpayers a whopping $130 Billion and Hurricane Katrina, which decimated New Orleans and left the region with an unforgiving $168 Billion tab. These two storms alone make up nearly one-third of all hurricane-related costs over the last 40 years!
Unfortunately for residents and businesses along the Houston-New Orleans section of the Gulf Coast Corridor, hurricanes are a fact of life and something we must learn to live with. We are by no means strangers to enduring the wrath of mighty storms and torrential flash floods, and all too often it is the premium we pay to live here.
Besides economic costs, there is also a human cost associated with severe storms. The Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 is recognized as the deadliest natural disaster in United States history, as it claimed nearly 8,000 lives.
Despite heightened risks associated with the influx of severe weather events in recent years, the good news is that there are actions businesses can take bounce back fast should any adverse effects occur. Some simple actions include double checking the scope of your commercial property insurance coverage ahead of time and revising if applicable, documenting any property and business income losses after a storm, and securing your business priority status with a contractor.
All too often, businesses believe they are covered for certain losses until they find out otherwise when it is already too late. Take this time to reread your insurance policies and learn from the mistakes of others rather than experiencing them firsthand. Subpar property insurance coverage, or a lack thereof, can quickly become a death knell to even a long, established business under unfavorable circumstances. This is one item you don’t want to skimp on.
Even with insurance, it is essential to have adequate access to liquidity in the event that your business is disrupted from severe weather. Carefully consider any options for business interruption insurance and make sure your company has enough working capital to survive unforeseen catastrophes. Otherwise, having limited working capital, the inability to access emergency loans, and bad insurance is a bankruptcy waiting to happen.
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