The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and self storage business owners in coastal areas are encouraged to act now to prepare for hurricanes and severe weather. The first step is to create an emergency preparedness plan and communicate it to your staff. For operations in other areas, remember that an emergency preparedness plan is a basic requirement for all businesses.
- Training – Provide ongoing staff training to familiarize them with the 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 as well as 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 make arrangements to secure 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 email addresses and telephone numbers in order to provide pre and post-storm communications about accessibility at the self storage facility and related issues.
For more information, Liberty Mutual Insurance, one of MiniCo's carriers, has prepared a detailed hurricane action plan that you may download at MiniCo.com/HurricanePlan.
About the Author
Mike Schofield is president and CEO of Phoenix-based MiniCo Insurance Agency, a provider of specialty insurance products and publications for the self storage industry since 1974. MiniCo has partnered with London-based Lloyd’s to offer specialty property and deductible buy-back solutions for insuring the most challenging self storage properties. MiniCo Insurance Agency, LLC, is a member of the Aran Insurance Services Group. For more information, visit MiniCo.com.