I was out and about running errands after Christmas when suddenly fire trucks and other emergency vehicles came screaming into the mini mall where I was shopping. I had no idea what was going on and I didn’t see flames or smell smoke but a few minutes later I saw the store next door flooded with water. The workers were inside scrambling to protect merchandise and important documents, etc. while the firefighters were diligently mopping out the water and there was a lot of it. I don’t know if it was the result of a leaky roof or a busted pipe but I am hopeful the business recovers and commend the quick response from the firefighters.
I’m telling you this to remind you that every business MUST have a disaster pan in place should something like this happen to you. I doubt the owners of this business woke up that morning thinking “I bet today is the day we have a flood in the store.” Tis the time of the year when roof collapses, fires, power outages and other challenges face us as winter makes us even more vulnerable than usual. A few days prior Sugarloaf dealt with their own unexpected disaster when a chair lift broke sending many plummeting into the snow below and others having to be rescued from the chairs that remained dangling from the lift. Scary stuff. We don’t yet know the circumstances that caused this incident to happen but I feel for the people who were involved and for Sugarloaf. It could have been much worse.
Both of these incidences took me back to the night I got a call from the Harbor Master in Bar Harbor telling me that my boat – my livelihood - had cut her line and was on the rocks. This was when I operated a commercial tour boat. We had no idea why that happened – we had done everything right. The mooring line had been inspected several times. The lines were secure. But later we discovered that a small piece of sharp metal met up with the line and the circumstances were just right for the metal to cut through the line. Fortunately she was rescued off the rocks before the damage was too severe and no one was hurt. But we lost the best weeks of the season as she was hauled out for repairs.
Sometimes these things happen for a reason. A few weeks after my boat was back in the water a major hurricane arrived to once again but a damper on the season. Had she not cut her mooring earlier – we would have never known the mooring had a problem and would have certainly lost her for good if she sat on that mooring during the fierce winds and surf that came that night. But because we repaired the mooring - she rode through out the hurricane like a champ and we remained in business for years.
My point is that even if you do everything right to protect your business – “you know what” happens. I don’t was to worry or depress you – I just want you to be prepared in the event the unexpected happens so you can recover. Why not start the New Year by reviewing your insurance policy and prepare a recovery plan. Check out www.ready.gov for help. You’ll sleep better knowing you are prepared for the unexpected and we know from recent events – it can happen!