Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and fires—the number of natural disasters has increased over the last 50 years and they come with a hefty price tag. In 2022, natural disasters in the United States cost over $165.1 billion in recovery efforts. No matter where you’re located, severe weather can strike at any time and with short notice. This makes it essential that your car dealership is prepared when the unexpected occurs.
Here are seven steps your dealership can take to prepare for a natural disaster.
- Build a disaster plan
Creating a comprehensive emergency plan protects your business from potential disaster-related losses. It should include a detailed description of steps to take before, during and after an event. Keep contact information updated for key staff members and any emergency services personnel as these will be critical to executing your plan. Make sure your team is trained and understands their responsibilities so they know what is expected of them if a disaster strikes.
- Evacuate your inventory
For any car dealership, natural disasters can reduce inventory within a matter of moments, but the right auto transport provider can help you prevent this. In the event of an impending hurricane, it’s important to have a logistics partner with fast response times that can quickly relocate your inventory before it is destroyed.
For dealerships that don’t have the option to relocate inventory, it’s essential to let police and security know that there are vehicles on your lot to guard against theft and vandalism after the storm passes.
- Shut down power
Before disaster strikes, shut down all critical systems on your property, including utilities like water, power and gas lines to minimize damage and increase overall safety. Taking these preventative steps ahead of time reduces property destruction.
- Implement backup systems
Data loss due to natural disasters can be devastating for car dealerships without backups in place. This is why 93% of small businesses have implemented backup systems. Have multiple copies of data stored offsite and make sure they are securely backed up in the event the original is damaged. Also, consider investing in cloud storage solutions that allow you to access data quickly even if physical copies are lost due to fire or flooding. Backing up your data is a critical part of natural disaster preparation.
- Establish backup power
Natural disasters can be unpredictable and devastating, causing power outages across an entire region. Your dealership relies on power to operate computer systems and communication networks. When the unexpected occurs, having a backup power source will be essential to keep your business operating when the storm subsides.
Generators come in various sizes, are an excellent investment and easy to operate and maintain. In addition to helping avoid costly disruptions, they provide peace of mind knowing you have access to electricity when you need it most.
- Disaster insurance
Having the appropriate insurance is critical when paying for damages associated with a natural disaster. Policies like flood Insurance, property insurance and business interruption insurance protect your wallet when the unexpected occurs and provide you with peace of mind in advance.
- Financial readiness
There are several reasons to be financially prepared for a natural disaster. While there are relief funds available in an emergency, it can take weeks before the money is dispersed. For example, once you apply for FEMA, it can take up to 10 days for an inspector to assess the damage on your property. From there, it may be another 10 days to receive the funds. There are other resources available after the storm, including the NADA relief fund.
Are you prepared?
Natural disasters can cause immense destruction if your dealership is not prepared ahead of time. It’s essential that you take steps now to protect your business from potential losses due to floods, fires, hurricanes and other extreme weather events by creating a comprehensive natural disaster preparation plan.
About Montway Auto Transport
Montway Auto Transport has a carrier network of over 15,000 available in all 50 states. As one of the leading logistics providers in the nation, dealerships can rely on our experience to move inventory across the state or the country with speed and reliability. Visit Montway.com/Logistics or call 888-998-4161 to learn more.