Written by Saam Banai.

As a business owner, it’s important to protect your investments. Unfortunately, one potential hazard that many business owners fail to plan for is bad weather. No matter where a business is located, it can be at risk for damage due to violent weather, and the damage caused by such weather can extend far beyond just the physical. If you’re a business owner and you haven’t thought of the potential for damage due to threatening weather, consider the following five issues you may face if you don’t plan accordingly:

1. Premises Liability

Violent weather can also lead to premises liability lawsuits being filed against your business. For instance, if hail has recently fallen on your business and you fail to clean the stones from customer and employee entryways, slips and falls could occur, and this may mean that your business could be hit with a major lawsuit. To avoid this, always have a plan in place to cleanup after bad weather moves through. 

2. Data Loss

These days, virtually all businesses use some type of data. Whether it be customer information, sales figures or new product research, data is an incredibly important commodity within the world of business, and loss of it can lead to big trouble. In order to protect your business from data loss due to bad weather, you may consider using off-site data storage like our Miami data centers that are rated to protect against hurricane weather. 

3. Structural Damage

Bad weather can also cause structural damage, and this can lead to the potential for further problems. When certain materials, such as exposed wood, become soaked with rain, rot may set in, and this can cause your business’ structural integrity to be in jeopardy. To combat this, always have a professional inspection of your business’ structure completed after a major weather event.

4. Higher Insurance Premiums

Additionally, if you haven’t taken the time to protect your business against weather threats, your insurance company may charge higher premiums. An insurance company may also choose to charge higher premiums if your business repeatedly sustains damage due to your failure to protect your business’ assets. To avoid this, speak with your insurance agent to discuss what needs to be done in order to alleviate the potential for higher weather-related premiums.

5. Code Enforcement Issues

Finally, failing to repair weather damage in a timely fashion may lead to various code violations, and this could mean large fines. If you receive too many code violations in a certain time period, your business may even be required to shut down until repairs are completed. One way to fight against this is to always make repairs that are affected by your local or state building codes quickly after weather-related damage occurs. If you’re unable to do so, at least contact your local officials to let them know of your situation.

Despite what your local TV weatherperson tells you, no one can predict exactly how weather events will play out, especially violent weather events. As a business owner, it’s up to you to take the proper steps to protect your business, its assets, its customers and its employees. By remaining prepared with a plan in place, you and your business can avoid the potential for lost time, lost wages and more. 

Saam Banai is a freelance writer, editor, and small business owner.  He contributes this article for Quality Technology Services, a provider of custom data centers, collocation services, and cloud computing access. Their Miami data centers are Category 5 rated facilities designed to protect against flood damage and winds of 185 MPH.