The Floyd County Fair is an important staple in Charles City, Iowa. When it came under new management, Farm Bureau agent Jay Jung reached out to discuss their insurance coverage. Jung recognized that there were gaps in the coverage they had. He recommended that instead of insuring the fairgrounds as a farm/ranch, they switch to a business policy. Doing so helped fill some insurance gaps that were previously there, giving the fairgrounds better coverage.

Shortly after their coverage was in place, a tornado destroyed the grounds. With the proper coverage in place, the fair board was able to get some structures rebuilt in time for the 2019 fair.

According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, an estimated 25 percent of businesses don’t open again after a major disaster, like a tornado. Preparing your business can help ensure you’re ready if a tornado strikes.

Create a crisis management plan

Work on creating a crisis management plan. This plan should lay out what needs to happen following an emergency to make sure you and your employees are safe and your business property is protected from further damage or destruction. Discuss the plan with your employees so they are also aware of what to expect.

Prepare your essential functions

Once you cover the basics of your crisis management plan, make sure you have prepared your essential business functions as much as you can. Develop a plan that ensures your payroll, benefits and other essential processes can continue to operate even away from the building or if systems are down. Make sure you are backing up systems in a place where the data can be found remotely.

Create an emergency notification system

Creating an emergency notification system will allow you to send warnings in an emergency. This could be an automated message to employees, a phone tree to spread the news quickly, or a weather alert radio in the office. Regularly update your contact information for all employees so you will be able to check in and communicate with them.

Conduct drills regularly to prepare employees for the real thing.

Identify a designated storm shelter and ensure all employees know where it is and how to protect themselves while at work. Your shelter should be in the basement, a storm cellar or safe room, if possible. If there isn’t a basement in your building, the safest place is in the lowest level, in an interior room. Let your employees know where they can find guidance or important information, like your crisis management plan, if bad weather is imminent.

Review your insurance coverage

Your insurance coverage is there to protect you and your business in the event of a disaster. Reviewing your coverage with your agent at least once a year will help you have peace of mind if a storm hits. During a SuperCheck® your agent will make sure you have the coverage you need and help identity any gaps or other coverage you should consider.

If you’d like to review your coverage or have any insurance questions, reach out to a local Farm Bureau agent.