Louisiana is no stranger to hurricanes, and as we find ourselves in the middle of another hurricane season, it’s important for small businesses in St. Mary Parish to be prepared.

These powerful storms can cause significant damage and disrupt business operations, but with the right planning and preparation, you can minimize the impact on your business.

We understand that navigating hurricane season can be challenging, especially when you’re trying to keep your business running smoothly.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you stay informed and take action to protect your business.

Identify Your Risk

It’s important to understand the potential risks and impacts a hurricane can have on your St. Mary business.

While it may not be pleasant to consider worst-case scenarios, being prepared can significantly improve your ability to weather the storm and maintain business continuity.

When evaluating your risk, consider the following key areas:

  1. Systems and Infrastructure. Assess the physical components of your business, such as computers, inventory, files, and internet connectivity. If a hurricane damages your building, identify which assets could be affected and how it would impact your ability to operate.
  2. Human Resources. Your employees are vital to your success. Consider how you would meet payroll obligations if your business income is interrupted by a hurricane.
  3. Operational Continuity. If your building sustains damage and becomes inaccessible, determine whether your business can continue to function. Evaluate your inventory and supplies to ensure you have sufficient resources to maintain operations without immediate replenishment. In addition, consider your customer base and assess their likelihood of remaining loyal during a temporary closure or slowdown.

Get Flood Insurance

One important step is to add flood insurance to your business insurance plan.

Even if you have business property insurance, it may not cover flood damage. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers flood insurance specifically designed for businesses.

Visit the NFIP website to learn more about flood insurance options and ensure your business is covered during this hurricane season.

Secure Your Business Surroundings

Next, make sure your properties in St. Mary parish are prepared for potential high winds and heavy rainfall. Start by assessing your business’s exterior:

  • Check Stability. Check signs, flagpoles, and fences for stability and reinforce or replace them if necessary.
  • Trim Branches. Trim any tree branches that could pose a threat to your building or nearby power lines.
  • Secure Outdoor Items. Remove or securely store any non-permanent outdoor structures, such as furniture or displays.

If you’re unsure about the safety of your business’s surroundings, consider consulting with a professional who can identify potential hazards and recommend solutions.

Protect Your Business’s Critical Contents

When a hurricane is on the horizon, safeguarding your business’s essential documents and contents should be a top priority.

Here’s how you can keep your critical items safe during hurricane season in St. Mary Parish:

Elevate Important Items

To minimize the risk of water damage, move your crucial documents and contents at least one foot above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) or the Design Flood Elevation (DFE), whichever is higher.

This step can help ensure that your important papers and inventory remain dry.

Handle Chemicals with Care

If your business uses or stores chemicals, it’s essential to handle them properly before a hurricane strikes.

Make sure all chemicals are securely stored in appropriate containers and moved to a safe location, away from potential flooding or high winds.

If you’re unsure about the best way to store your chemicals, consult with a professional who can provide guidance specific to your business’s needs.

Check Your Building’s Structure

High winds and heavy rain can put a lot of stress on your building’s roof, walls, and openings, so it’s crucial to identify and address any potential weaknesses before a storm hits.

Consider hiring a professional inspector for a thorough assessment of your building’s structural integrity.

They can check for loose or missing roof shingles, cracks in the walls, and gaps around windows and doors that could allow water to seep in during a hurricane.

The inspector can also evaluate the overall strength of your building’s framework to determine if it can withstand the wind pressures that come with a storm.

Based on the inspector’s findings, you may need to take steps to fortify your building’s structure.

Educate Your Employees

During hurricane season in St. Mary Parish, keep your employees informed and prepared.

Share your business’s emergency plans, including evacuation procedures and emergency contact information. Provide resources to help them safeguard their homes and families. 

Get the Support Your Small Business Needs in St. Mary Parish

Running a business isn’t easy, especially when facing challenges like hurricane season.

Our team is here to help with our small business consulting services in St. Mary Parish. We offer a variety of solutions to help you overcome obstacles and reach your goals.

Our services include site selection assistance to help you find the ideal location for your business, guidance on securing valuable tax credits and incentives, and connecting you with key business contacts in the area.

Contact us today to learn how our small business consulting services in St. Mary Parish can help your company succeed, no matter what challenges come your way.

Contact Us Today!