Hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, flooding — the list goes on. Depending on your location and climate, a disaster recovery plan is something that you may need to consider for your tree care business and for your customers. After all, being prepared will help keep your business operational so you can in turn help those who need it.
The team at Vermeer Texas-Louisiana knows all too well the coordination efforts and training that need to take place before a tree care business should take on clean up.
Any time a natural disaster hits, the goal is for Vermeer to have the right people and products in place to be able to hit the ground running as soon as recovery efforts begin. It’s an effort that often means additional staff – both in sales and service – and equipment so Vermeer can accommodate contractors’ needs.
Disaster recovery plan basics:
Assess your risks. Which disasters will most likely impact your business? Discuss with employees what you can you do to be ready in each scenario.
Plan an alternate location. Strategize additional command centers in the event that your office is damaged. Find a location with higher ground in the instances of flooding, etc. Then reach out to other businesses to see if you can place equipment in those areas if worse comes to worse.
Encourage employees to be prepared. Provide a checklist of suggested items for emergency kits and create a communication plan to check in during catastrophic events. You will need your team to be able to help others, so make sure they are ready for anything.
The Vermeer team understands that during this type of event there is no such thing as “business as usual.” Stores offer longer hours of operation – usually 24/7 – to support the customer through these types of events.
Review your business insurance coverage. If your equipment or business is damaged you’ll need to get things back in operation as soon as possible to reach customers. Make sure your insurance coverage is adequate and that they will be able to support your business in the instance of damage.
Use your resources. TCIA members have access to the Storm Network, which helps coordinate efforts and provide backup in the wake of severe weather. When a storm hits, members can log in and view the complete list of companies willing to help following a storm.
Create an outreach plan. If damage occurs to your community, your customers will want to know you’re available to help. Prepare messaging for social media and local advertisements to get the word out that they can count on you. Contact organizations like FEMA, the Red Cross and insurance agencies to establish your business as a resource.
Be aware of the safety basics. Downed powerlines and contaminated water can create obstacles when you’re trying to reach your customers. Make sure you and your employees are aware and well-versed in what to do if you encounter any hazards along the way. Research and provide the proper safety gear needed for these types of situations.
The important thing to keep in mind is to stay calm and remember safety trainings before heading out on any job.
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