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Emergency Contacts: A Key Part of Risk Management for Self-Storage and Other Businesses


By Scott Brothers

As a self-storage operator, you’re called upon to wear many different hats. When your job includes overseeing personnel, sales, marketing, technology, accounting and most everything else, risk management sometimes gets pushed off the table. This can be overwhelming to manage. Perhaps you’ve considered looking for someone to advise you on the critical issues of running your business. So, who are you going to call?  

The risk-management process includes such things as how to handle a lost supplier, replace a key employee and hundreds of other choices you might be called upon to make during the lifetime of your business. John O’Connor, vice president of product and underwriting at Travelers’ Select Accounts, says a majority of small-business owners spend most of their time on operational risks—keeping the day-to-day operations open and, hopefully, profitable.

Along with backup computer data and other crucial information that should be kept off premises, owners should also keep a list of the following emergency contacts on the premises as well as in a separate location:

  • Employees
  • Fire
  • Police
  • Utility companies (water, electric and telephone)

For individuals, be sure to include fixed-location numbers outside home and cell-phone numbers. This way, when utility services are compromised, you’ll still have the ability to make contact.

Be sure to show your concern for employee family members as well as your employees. In addition to maintaining employee addresses and phone numbers, ask these questions:

  • Do you have private transportation?
  • Do you carpool or use public transportation?
  • Do you have pets?
  • Have you made arrangements for someone to care for your pets in the event of a personal or family emergency?
  • Does any member of your household have special health needs?
  • Do you or any member of your household require critical medications?

Take a moment to review or make a list of at least the information in the table below so you or someone given the responsibility on your behalf can contact the appropriate parties when situations arise.

Emergency Contacts



Primary Phone Number

Emergency Phone Number




Insurance Agent

Equipment Repair

Financial Institution (Bank)


Other (Describe)

Equally important, make sure your employees and local authorities know how to contact you in the event an emergency occurs at your business when you’re away. Provide them with your business name, location, manager and owner’s name, business phone, home-phone and cell-phone number. In the event you cannot be reached, you should also provide an alternate contact with the person’s name, position, business phone, home and cell phone. Be sure to also include any special instructions during extended periods of time when you’ll be unavailable.

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