Prestige Insurance Group, Inc.

Contact Us!
Phone: (305) 969-8745

Se Habla Espanol

Prestige Insurance Group, Inc.

Readiness boosts firms, even if an anticipated natural disaster doesn't hit. Tips for tackling the unexpected:

  • Carry the weight. Buckets and brawn revived Peer 1 Hosting during Hurricane Sandy last October. A strenuous trek — hauling five-gallon buckets of diesel fuel up 17 flights to the firm's backup generator — kept servers running for 94 clients who depend on the company's New York City data center for 24/7 Web hosting.

The stop-gap measure bought the company time.

"There were a lot of what-ifs and what-do-we-do-nows," said data center manager Michael Mazzei.

His No. 1 rule: Keep cool.

"Even if you don't have a lot of time, look at your options and then execute," he told IBD.

  • Anticipate it. Long before Sandy's landfall, Mazzei sought advice from the firm's Florida office. A big tip: "Go on generator (beforehand) so you know it's working."
  • Band together. Clients — without power themselves — showed up at Peer 1's office. Many helped with the fuel bucket brigade. "Our customers were very pivotal those first few days," Mazzei said.
  • Streamline the chatter. "We created a pretty tight chain of command," Mazzei said. "For the first couple of days, those were the only guys I spoke to." Freed from fielding every call or text, he focused on the work at hand.
  • Pass it on. Mazzei updated Gary Sherlock, chief financial officer of Peer 1 Hosting, which has 600 employees in 18 cities. Sherlock relayed those updates to key constituents. "We were in constant dialogue with our customers," he said.
  • Gear up. Invest in batteries and blankets. "You're going to end up helping other people as well as your own infrastructure," Sherlock said.
  • Get ahead of it. Every firm should have a disaster strategy. So said Ken Katz, property risk control director with insurance firm Travelers (TRV): "Thinking about it is not a plan. If you know what to do, it's easy to go ahead and execute it."
  • Take the steps. No. 1: "Know what your risks are," Katz said.

Next, analyze the potential business impact of a weather catastrophe.

"What would you want to restore first?" Katz said.

Maybe it's refrigeration for a restaurant, or Internet connection for an online retailer.

Then: "Spend your resources wisely," Katz said. If power is essential, budget for a backup generator.

Finally, test the plan with a dry run.

"There are always take-aways," Katz said.

  • Urge self-reliance. Employers often assume their workers will be on site helping out during an emergency.

Staffers might have other first concerns.

"They'll go take care of their families," Katz said. "As a business, you would be well advised to encourage family preparedness plans."

  • Formalize it. Make readiness part of employees' annual performance reviews.

"Hold people accountable for it," Katz said.

  • Write it down. During and after a storm, don't forget to "document, document and document some more," said James O'Brien, partner with accounting, tax and consulting firm ParenteBeard.

Besides taking photos, keep a record of exactly how the business was interrupted.

"You're going to need to substantiate why you went down," he said.

  • Balance the risk. Consult an expert to weigh the cost of insurance coverage vs. the financial impact of a potential disaster.

"That's the balancing act," O'Brien said. "It's difficult for most businesses."

If you have questions about Kendall Business Insurance and how to prepare for a disaster in your business, give Prestige Insurance Group a call at 305-969-8776. We look forward to helping you.

Share |

No Comments

Post a Comment
Required (Not Displayed)

All comments are moderated and stripped of HTML.
Submission Validation
Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
Enter the Validation Code from above.
NOTICE: This blog and website are made available by the publisher for educational and informational purposes only. It is not be used as a substitute for competent insurance, legal, or tax advice from a licensed professional in your state. By using this blog site you understand that there is no broker client relationship between you and the blog and website publisher.
Blog Archive

View Mobile Version
  • Travelers
  • Progressive
  • NFIP
  • Aflac
  • Chubb
  • Firemens Fund
  • Florida Blue
  • Foremost
  • Mercury
  • Mercury
  • MetLife
  • The Hartford
  • Prudential
  • Infinity
  • Chartis
  • National General
  • Hagerty
Our Locations
© Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. Powered by Insurance Website Builder