Business owners have a lot of things on their plate. Between managing employees, interacting with clients, and balancing finances, it can be easy to let important things slip through. One of these things is taking steps to protect your business in the event of inclement weather. During severe weather, business owners have the responsibility to protect their property, their clients, and their employees. Doing this is not only ethically correct, but it can also prevent expensive insurance claims.

Create a Plan

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Unfortunately, according to a survey done of small businesses in the United States, more than 60 percent of them do not have a contingency plan in writing of what to do in case of serious weather emergencies.

The plan should be clear and free of ambiguity. The plan should lay out who is responsible for announcing closures to employees and to customers. If an employee battles inclement weather only to get to your business and find that it’s closed, this is going to sour the employee/employer relationship.

Communication Is Key

In times past, businesses would use phone trees to communicate weather-related closures to employees. Now, thanks to the Internet, mass emails can be sent out letting employees know whether a business is going to close or if it will stay open. Some organizations take advantage of social media as a way to back up the information sent via email.

It may be a good idea to use the company’s website, voicemail, and other forms of communication to explain to clients that inclement weather has led to a store closure. The worst thing a business owner could do is leave their customers outside in the cold, literally, because the customer did not know that the store was closed.

Create an Emergency Kit

Emergency kits are a must for any business to have since inclement weather and natural disasters can strike out of nowhere. A good emergency kit would include water for each person to drink, nonperishable food items, batteries, a first aid kit, dust masks, a can opener, and flashlights.

Many businesses have a generator that can supply power to a limited area. Electrical storms can increase the risk of electrical overloads that can damage your expensive technology. You should plug all your computers into surge protectors from places like Americord in order to keep your electronics safe from storms and other unexpected events.

Assess Liability

If a business chooses to stay open during inclement weather, they have to remember that they could bear some responsibility for any injuries or illnesses that come as a result of employees coming to work. It is good to check your business’s insurance policy to make sure that it covers accidents caused by inclement weather.

Inclement weather is inevitable. It often strikes with little warning. Business owners can protect their assets, their clients, and their employees by planning ahead, creating an emergency kit, assessing their liability, and keeping the lines of communication with employees and clients open.

A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here .