3 Businesses that Recovered from Disaster
Disaster comes in many forms, often when we least expect it. That’s why experts strongly encourage businesses to form a disaster readiness plan. In fact, according to FEMA, 40-60% of businesses that face disaster never reopen. Fortunately, planning and quick action can save you when you need it most. To underline the importance of emergency planning, we’re sharing three examples of businesses that successfully recovered from disaster.
NAPA Auto Parts – Westerly, RI; 2010
In 2010, a flooded river destroyed the basement and first floor of a local NAPA Auto Parts franchise in Westerly, Rhode Island. It took 3 days before they were even able to access the store, but instead of closing, they decided to move forward.
The owner, Jamie Silvestri, found a new location and relied on his retirement funds, an SBA loan, and friends and family for financial support. He also had support from his franchise’s corporate office. He was back in business within 12 days.
Takeaway: Don’t feel ashamed to rely on your support network when you are recovering from disaster!
National Hardware Flooring and Molding – Los Angeles, CA; 2015
(Source: Wood Floor Business)
In 2015, Omer Katzir received a call from his wife while he was visiting his dying mother in Israel; his wife told him that his wood flooring wholesale and supply warehouse was lost to a fire along with all of his inventory.
After touching base with his employees, he immediately called all of his customers and vendors and told them what had happened. Because he had such a great relationship with all of them, none of his customers canceled their orders and his vendors expedited their shipping.
When it came to insurance, Katzir was able to present all the necessary documents because he had organized and digitized his data every day. Pictures of the warehouse had been taken twice a year, all inventory had been tracked, and every receipt and invoice had been saved, which helped them give all the necessary information over to their insurance.
The warehouse reopens this year.
Takeaways: Keep an open dialogue with your employees, customers, and your vendors. Also, make sure to keep a consistent and digital log of all your documents.
Ember Industries, Inc. – San Marcos, Texas; 2015
(Source: PR Newswire)
In mid-2015, the flooded Blanco River destroyed about one-third of the inventory at Ember Industries, Inc., which builds, tests, and calibrates electronic devices and related things. President Rob Leonardis was forced to shut down his business, but his employees (even those who had lost their homes) immediately showed up and began cleaning the debris.
Leonardis encouraged his staff and helped them visualize an achievable goal. After 6 weeks and a $2 million SBA loan, they were back in business with almost all of the original staff.
Takeaways: Be your team’s cheerleader and encourage them to keep fighting. They need a strong leader to pull them back from disaster.
Preserving Your Business
It’s impossible to know when—or if—disaster will affect your business. But if you are prepared and have the ability to corral your team, your business has a chance of rising back from the ashes. If you don’t know where to start, consider consulting your local SERVPRO franchise and asking them about their Emergency READY Profile service. At no charge, they will create a customized document that covers all the critical information you and your employees need in the event of an emergency. Armed with this profile, you’ll be “Ready for whatever happens.”