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10 Things to Know When Rebuilding After a Natural Disaster

Natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other geologic processes can cause loss of life or property damage. You can read several helpful tips in this article that will help you recover and get out of the situation.

Damage Caused by Natural Disasters

Globally, 8.700 people were killed by natural disasters in 2016. This is down from 25.400 in 2015. Global natural disasters resulted in $175 billion in damage in 2016. The global cost was the highest in 4 years. Only 30% of the losses ($50 billion) were insured, according to the German reinsurance firm Munich RE.

These are the most expensive weather events in US history beginning in 1980, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

  1. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 Katrina – the single most catastrophic natural disaster in US history
  2. Hurricane Harvey in 2017
  3. Hurricane Sandy in 2012
  4. Hurricane Andrew in 1992
  5. Los Angeles earthquake in 1994
  6. Drought in 1988

According to the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm, because of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, US economy growth will fall in Q3 by 1%. Rebuilding will increase growth in Q4 (October – December).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that 40% of small businesses don’t reopen after a natural disaster. Even if they reopen, 52% of them need at least 3 months to recover.

Rebuilding Your Business After a Natural Disaster   

Here are several important points to focus on while recovering after a disaster:

  1. Be wary of scams when getting offers from other businesses. Research them online. Avoid paying upfront or paying in advance. Consider how you pay. Sign up for fraud alerts.
  2. Stay away from scammers. They can pretend to be government officials, charities or even family members and friends.
  3. Scammers will typically contact you via phone. Remember that government agencies like the IRS or FTC don’t call to receive payments or get your information. Ignore such calls.
  4. Ignore emails or texts asking for the abovementioned information. Block senders or callers who require payment via telephone, email or texts.
  5. If you have doubts, go to your local government office to know what you should do.
  6. If you have a loan, contact your lender or bank to let them know about your emergency situation.
  7. Look for low-cost business funding. Reputable alternative lenders like First American Merchant offer exceptional business funding opportunities, including alternative business loans, with the lowest possible rates to merchants of any type and size. (FAM) is also a respectable payment processor and boasts an A+ rating with the BBB.
  8. Let your suppliers know what’s going on with your business.
  9. Keep your employees informed by telling them what’s happening. Be honest with them and lay it on the line.
  10. Keep records, take photos, keep samples of damaged stock and equipment. This is important for insurance claims.

Rebuilding after a disaster is a real struggle. However, there are steps you can take to make your recovery easier.