Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on a large portion of the Northeast and is already impacting small businesses.
Forecasters predict that the hurricane will be unusually strong and much larger than past storms to hit the region, reports NBC.
To prepare for the storm, cities like New York have already shut down their subway system. Experts say that Manhattan's five-foot sea walls may not hold back Sandy's 11-foot surges. As a result, the New York subway system could be flooded, reports NBC. Similarly, in other parts of the Northeast, roads have been closed and stores have boarded up.
So how can a small business protect itself?
Most of the steps that small business owners need to take in the face of a looming natural disaster should have happened already. Business owners need a natural disaster plan that can either ensure that a business can continue operating or won't be completely ruined by the hurricane.
For example, you should back up all of your valuable data and store it in a secondary location that is protected by the disaster -- such as in the clouds.
Additionally, you should maintain updated lists of important business contacts, customers, and vendors so that you can keep them updated on your progress and explain any difficulties.
Finally, if you are in an area frequently by natural disasters, you should have considered insurance coverage to cover every aspect of your business, including interruptions, inventory, and the physical premises.
If you haven't taken these steps, you should protect your business' most important asset -- yourself. Make sure to stay safe and don't risk your health to protect your business. No matter how disastrous, you can always rebuild your business. And with programs like the small business disaster loan, it may not be that difficult to get back on your feet.
- Sandy's hit to the economy (CNN Money)
- Small Business Insurance Plans (FindLaw)
- Five Things to Know About Disaster Preparedness Plans (FindLaw's DC Circuit)