The Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1, and self-storage business owners in coastal areas are encouraged to act now in preparation for hurricanes and severe weather. The first step is to create or review your emergency-preparedness plan and communicate it to your staff. Here are some key steps to ensure you’re in position to respond to a catastrophic event.
Training – Provide ongoing staff training to ensure everyone is familiar with the emergency plan's key elements and procedures, including shelter-in-place provisions and post-storm safety considerations.
Emergency contacts and documentation – Assemble a list of important contact information including carrier names, addresses, phone numbers and policy numbers for each of your insurance policies. This should also include phone numbers for employees, local police, medical facilities, utilities and other emergency contacts.
Insurance – Contact your insurance agent to review your building values, deductibles and business interruption coverage.
Vendor supply chain – Talk to local vendors and contractors about their ability to respond following a catastrophic event. It may be possible to secure a priority response for your facility in the aftermath of a catastrophic event.
Customer contact information – Keep an electronic record of customer contact data, such as e-mail addresses and telephone numbers, to facilitate pre- and post-storm communications regarding facility accessibility and related issues.
For more information, Liberty Mutual Insurance has prepared a detailed, seven-page hurricane action plan that is downloadable here.
Regardless of location, an emergency-preparedness plan should be a basic requirement for all self-storage businesses.
Mike Schofield is CEO and president of Phoenix-based MiniCo Insurance Agency LLC, a provider of specialty insurance programs for self-storage businesses in Canada and the United States. For more information, call 800.528.1056; visit www.minico.com.