How Can Natural Disasters Affect Your Business?

Did you know that one-third of businesses that suffer from a natural disaster never reopen? Whether it’s a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, mudslides, or something else, it may wreak havoc on your carefully set plans and negatively impact your business in a variety of ways. Hence, it is critical for you to know how exactly can natural disasters affect your business in order to be fully prepared.

Physical Damage

Physical damage to your business site is the most evident impact of natural disasters. While every natural catastrophe can cause varying physical damages, almost all disasters can cause significant physical damages. For instance, hurricanes can cause downed trees, broken windows, roof leaks, or damaged on-site equipment. Flooding on the other hand can flood and block the access of the building, and cause structural damages. Even if it does not seem like there are any physical damages, it is important for infrastructure checks to be run. This is because certain physical damages may not be easy to spot. Major storms, for example, can result in power outages, regional water shortages, or mobile phone tower failures. Hence, even if your business does not suffer from any actual damage at its location, the damaged physical infrastructure can also comprise your business.

Records and Documents

For your business to claim any damage insurance, you will require important records and documentation. For your business to be able to efficiently recover from the disaster, you will need your clients’ documents to continue working. But unfortunately, such critical documents are likely to be lost or damaged during natural disasters. And this can significantly hinder the recovery process of your business. Here is a tip. Frequently scan important documents, back up data daily, and try to store information in the cloud or online. Alternatively, if you require to have the physical copy, you can consider making additional copies while securing originals in a secure offsite location

Supply Chain

When natural disasters happen, the roads and other means of transportation are likely to be disrupted, and possibly become impassable. And that your business will be unable to ship orders or receive supplies. And that can adversely affect your business’ supply chain. Faulty power lines, gas issues, icy and slippery roads, or an unopened bridge may all restrict access for your employees or customers. However, it is critical to note that this applies even if the natural disaster does not physically affect your onsite location. For instance, a major storm can happen in the city next to your business. While it does not personally affect your business, it can cause flight delays across the country for several days, which would then could result in your business’s inability to operate most efficiently.

Drop in Business

If your customers are mainly located in the affected area, they may be unable to purchase your products for a period of time. This could mean that your business will suffer a serious downturn.

To mitigate such challenges, you should examine the possible weaknesses in your business. After you have identified them, it is time to put together a solution to lessen the possible damages. While you may not be able to anticipate all possible issues, you can be prepared to survive and thrive in the face of challenges.


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