Most of us have spent this week with our minds on one thing only. We’ve all been sending as much literal and emotional good will as we can to the East Coast since Superstorm Sandy hit on Monday. Insurance agents in particular, will be working hard this week to aid in the recovery effort. A lot of those agents will already known how effective their clients’ risk management processes would have been. In contrast, their clients are only just finding out.

Structural Integrity

The first thing many East Coast business owners will have learned this week is the strength of their building materials. Most businesses have been battered by wind, rain and flooding this week. While the owners may not have thought of their buildings, doors and foundations as risk management processes before, they can see the value in them now.

Every building is built with certain risk management processes built in, your insurance agent will be aware of these and may be able to identify gaps. But you only really learn about your location’s ability to withstand disaster after a disaster like Sandy.

Safety Procedure

Disaster, by its nature, occurs out of the blue. It’s something you can plan for, but not something you can expect. That unexpected nature means you need to have procedure in place so you can react to disaster. That procedure was tested to its limit for a lot of businesses this week. The creation of safety procedure is one of the key risk management processes an insurance agent can help you with. In a disaster, that procedure could be key to your employees’ survival.

Training

Training is heavily linked to safety procedure. The procedure alone is not enough to protect employees in a disaster. They need to be trained to follow it. You can drill and drill, but you’ll only truly know that your employees are ready when they have an actual disaster to deal with. This week will have provided an eye-opener for a lot of businesses who may have thought they were more prepared than they actually were. A good insurance agent can spot that gap, but for business owners it’s easy to assume that everything’s okay.

Disaster Recovery Measures

The next lesson for a lot of businesses is yet to happen. That will come as they try to rebuild their businesses over the coming weeks. Businesses will assess what data backups they have available, some will be looking at business interruption insurance and many will simply be working on putting their building back together. Various studies have found that only 25% of small businesses recover after disasters like Sandy. Right now many small business owners are finding out if their risk management processes put them in that 25%.

With their knowledge and experience, your insurance agent knows what to expect from your risk management processes in a disaster. The East Coast business owners who trusted their agents will be reaping the rewards of that trust right now. The others are learning a harsh lesson.

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