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Is your dealership prepared for storm season?

Dark storm clouds and lightning over an empty field
Article Highlights:

  • 25% of small businesses never reopen after a natural disaster.
  • How to help your dealership prepare for storm season.

Storm season brings expected and unexpected disasters. Dealerships need to have a plan in place to help them recover if Mother Nature attacks. According to FEMA, almost 25% of small businesses never reopen after a natural disaster, and more than a third of commercial property owners (36 percent) have reported damage from a natural disaster in the last five years. In 2023 alone, the United States experienced 28 separate weather disasters that resulted in at least $1 billion in damages, and no one knows what 2024 will bring.

How can you prepare for the unknown?

There are a few easy ways dealers can make sure they are as prepared as possible:

 

  1. Focus on what you can control.

It’s hard to plan for the unexpected, so focus on threats in your dealership you can control. Make sure your medical kits and supplies are fully stocked and check with your insurance company to see if you have adequate coverage for a disaster. You can also keep your employee contact information up-to-date and in a convenient location.

 

  1. Have a plan for your employees.

Give employees job tasks to help the dealership brace itself for disaster. For example, employees can take pictures of technology to keep your records and help with insurance claims. If you know a disaster like a hurricane or flooding is headed your way, have employees wrap your technology in plastic and store it off the floor. They can also communicate with customers to let them know you are preparing for a storm. In addition, run through different drills with employees and give them numbers to contact when they reach a safe location if a disaster were to occur.

 

  1. Research EPA guidelines.

The EPA is going to be on your doorstep right after a disaster. To prepare for its visit, research EPA guidelines. You can also have members of your service department take training courses to help you stay compliant with regulations. If you have any questions, call the EPA’s main phone line for small businesses at 202.566.2075.

 

  1. Protect your data.

Insurance can cover almost everything, but what about your customer data? Complete backups regularly and keep the tapes off-site, or hire an outside company to keep your data secure. Your data could be the only thing that keeps you from going under when disaster strikes.

 

The next few months will be filled with flooding, hurricanes, storms, and fires. Create a plan to help your dealership weather the storm.

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Product Planning, Reynolds and Reynolds

Tim is a Product Planning manager at Reynolds and Reynolds for the ERA-IGNITE platform, Business Office applications, Document Archiving solutions, Networking solutions, and ReyPAY®.

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