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The Red Cross calls the flooding in Louisiana the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since

Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and estimates that its response efforts should reach at least $30 million.

ing an extreme weather event, there are some steps you can take to keep your business afloat dur- ing bad weather. Create a weather communica- tion plan. Be clear about setting expectations and communication guidelines for your employees dur- ing bad weather. If you have to close your business due to a weath- er emergency, you don’t want some of your staff attempting to make it into work. Notify them via group text or through your web- site of any closings or delays in operation.

For the same reason, have clear communication with your vendors and suppliers about what happens during unexpected weather-relat-

ed events. While the weather may be a surprise, the way you handle the situation does not have to be. Keep up with short-term weather forecasts. As a business owner, you are accustomed to keeping up with economic forecasts and with business news. You need to add weather news to that list. Here’s an example. Knowing that its customers buy more soup in cold, damp and windy weather the Campbell’s Soup Company pays close attention to the weather. It even links its advertising to the weather forecasts in certain markets with an algo- rithm called the “Misery Index.” Therefore, if you hear a Campbell’s soup ad on the radio, chances are pretty good that the weather where you are is miser- able.

Diversify your product line, or alter your processes. I recall a new small business in my town that sold pri- marily smoothies and iced drinks. The Hawaiian-

52 Automotive Recycling | September-October 2016 least $30 million.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) representative Rafael Lemaitre reported on August 21 that more than 25,000 people in Louisiana had already filed flood-related claims. Request a weather-related risk assessment on your business and business property from your insurance company. Shop around to make sure you have enough coverage if a weather disaster strikes. For example, while you may have property coverage, you may want to add business interruption coverage or data compromise coverage for your business. Have an emergency plan. In weather emergencies, the situation can worsen quickly. Although you hope you never need to implement it, it is important to have an emergency preparedness plan in place. The first step is to think about what weather- related problems could affect your business and

themed drive-through kiosk seemed to be doing a brisk business during the summer tourist season. As fall neared, however, I watched closely for menu items that would reflect the upcoming temperature changes. Maybe soup? Hot drinks? However, nothing seemed to change and, not surprisingly, I saw a “For Sale” sign on the shuttered doors before the end of the year. Seasonal changes are predictable, and your business during winter weather should be as well. Plan for snow day dismantling procedure changes if your cars are under snow most of the winter. If feasible, pull critical parts before the snow hits. Find alternative vendor sources in different parts of the country. After all, if your vendors are local, they are likely having weather issues, too, that may slow you down. Think outside the box on new offerings and specials, like a sale on recycled snow tires. Check your insurance coverage. Extreme weather events, such as the recent floods in Louisiana, can devastate your business.

The Red Cross calls the flooding in Louisiana the worst natural dis- aster in the U.S. since Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and estimates that its response efforts should reach at

Winter Photos: Shannon Nordstrom

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