It’s certainly been demonstrated time and time again, most notably in recent years, that disaster can and will strike anywhere and at any time. Even for those of us who feel a false sense of security because living in the Midwest and Great Lakes area somehow protects us from disaster. It certainly does not.

Especially for those living in the southwest, specifically Texas, as they are hit with more natural disasters than anywhere else in the U.S. as far as I have learned. Texas faces many natural disasters such as:

  • Wildfires
  • Floods
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • Hail
  • Earthquake
  • Windstorms

When commercial property damage happens it affects you, your employees, your business, and your customers and they are all your first priority. The added stress of handling a complicated commercial claim should not be on your to-do list. Licensed public adjusters manage claims on your behalf.

According to The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), statistics show, “The U.S. has sustained 371 weather and climate disasters since 1980 where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including CPI adjustment to 2023),”.

“…The total cost of these 371 events exceeds $2.615 trillion. In 2023 (as of September 11), there have been 23 confirmed weather/climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each to affect United States. These events included 2 flooding events, 18 severe storm events, 1 tropical cyclone event, 1 wildfire event, and 1 winter storm event”.

When wind, water, or fire damage occurs, highly trained disaster support teams should be committed to keeping you informed during all phases of recovery. The team should have:

  • Superintendent
  • Project manager
  • Insurance liaison
  • Client service and administrative support professionals

The team will navigate the restoration process, including the complex insurance claims process.

A disaster restoration consultant will verify that a contractor’s recommendations are on point, on budget, and in your best interest. Suppose they have attentive and experienced leadership and are available to review your existing project scope and timeline. In that case, they should be qualified to verify that your contractor’s budget aligns with industry benchmarks.

As a result, you’ll be better prepared for the unexpected and reduce the likelihood of significant property damage and major insurance claims in the future.

(NCEI is the Nation’s Scorekeeper in terms of addressing severe weather and climate events in their historical perspective. As part of its responsibility of monitoring and assessing the climate, NCEI tracks and evaluates climate events in the U.S. and globally that have great economic and societal impacts.)

Disaster recovery checklist

When facing a disaster, such as a flood or fire, it’s crucial to prioritize decisions that will ensure the survival of your business. While insurance adjusters play a role in assessing damages, ultimately, you know your business best and should take the lead in recovery efforts.

Reputable companies suggest the following as a guideline for starting a disaster recovery checklist. Here are just a few:

Consider hiring your own experts to help navigate the complexities of the insurance claim process. These experts can provide invaluable guidance to help secure a fair and prompt settlement, allowing you to focus on keeping your business running smoothly during challenging times. This is especially important in cases of severe flooding or fire damage.

Building relationships with reputable contractors before a disaster strikes can streamline the recovery process. Having trusted professionals at the ready can expedite repairs and minimize downtime, giving your business a competitive edge in the aftermath of a flood or fire.

Make sure to thoroughly review your insurance policy to understand your coverage and obligations. Seeking professional assistance to interpret the policy can clarify what is and isn’t covered, empowering you to make informed decisions when engaging with your insurance carrier. This knowledge is key in preparing for potential disputes or challenges during the claims process, particularly in scenarios involving extensive flood or fire damage.

*The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor should it be viewed as legal advice.

What are the 4 phases of disaster relief?

These common elements allow you to prepare for and protect yourself and your animals from disaster. Emergency managers consider disasters recurring events with four phases:

  1. Mitigation
  2. Preparedness
  3. Response
  4. Recovery

If you are currently going through or have been through a natural disaster that caused destruction to your property, the first step in that process would be “response.” Hopefully, if you have hired a professional company, they will go through the other steps as well to put the proper resolution into place for potential future incidences.

It is noteworthy to mention that these four phases are interconnected and often overlap. Each phase builds upon the previous one and the lessons learned from previous disasters. Effective disaster management requires comprehensive planning, collaboration across multiple sectors, and continuous improvement based on past experiences.

Business continuity plan and disaster recovery plan

A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) states the essential functions of the business, identifies which systems and processes must be sustained, and details how to maintain them. It should consider any possible business disruption. A BCP covers risks, including cyber-attacks, pandemics, natural disasters, and human error.

A disaster recovery (DR) plan is a formal document created by an organization that contains detailed instructions on responding to unplanned incidents such as natural disasters, power outages, cyber-attacks, and any other disruptive events.

Business continuity and disaster recovery have different goals. Effective business continuity plans limit operational downtime, whereas effective disaster recovery plans limit abnormal or inefficient system functions. Only by combining the two plans can businesses comprehensively prepare for disastrous events like a tornado.

Here are the five components:

  1. Risks and potential business impact
  2. Planning an effective response
  3. Roles and responsibilities
  4. Communication
  5. Testing and training
Commercial claims disaster recovery

In conclusion, disaster can and will strike anywhere and at any time, whether it’s a natural disaster like a wildfire, flood, hurricane, tornado, hail, earthquake or a windstorm. Being absolutely certain your business is prepared and set up for recovery will create resiliency and sustainability.