Looting Sprees: How to Protect Your Business After a Disaster

disasterAs a responsible business owner, you have already invested and covered your business with small business insurance in preparation for the worst: be it theft, accident or natural disaster. You want to make sure your business’s security is top notch, because having good security doesn’t just protect your business, it protects you and your staff from unforeseen fiascos.

Crime and Punishment

When a natural disaster or civil unrest hits a community, criminals of the community’s underbelly turn up and take advantage of the situation, taking cover in the panic and chaos on the streets.

Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook make it easy for groups to plan, organize and orchestrate these looting sprees with swift action. By the time the police are able to arrive on the scene, the looters have already stolen the goods and are nowhere to be found. Unless they turn around and sell the items (these illegal sales can sometimes be traced back to the original thief) there’s a high chance you will not get your products or business equipment back. Instead, you’ll have to pay to have it replaced, costing you thousands of dollars in the process, and potentially bankrupting your company.

When you look online to learn how to protect yourself in a looting spree, you’re taken to some fairly strange and end-of-days type of sites, telling you to shoot at the looters or instigate martial law. These are extreme reactions. Shooting someone for stealing something from your business is not the protocol to follow. Find the steps to take to protect your business during and after a looting spree.

Invest in security cameras and a security system: If you know that a massive storm is going to sweep through your area and cause serious property damage, install all-weather security cameras and a security system. If a window is broken or there is movement in your establishment after hours, you and the police department will be contacted via your security company. A responding police officer will head over to your business to investigate the situation. If there is a thief or thieves to be apprehended, they will be caught, and your merchandise or equipment safe. A security system will offer you a better chance of the looter or looters getting caught in the process of the crime and will make other looters less likely to target your business.

Invest in a small business insurance package: Small business insurance, including general liability insurance, professional liability insurance and commercial auto insurance (among other policies) will cover the loss, damage or theft of your property, including the structure of the building, equipment and merchandise. Sites like Coverhound offer free general liability insurance quotes to help business owners make quick and easy price comparisons between small business insurance policies.

Taking Care of Business

Many small business owners believe they can’t get business insurance because it’s too expensive. When they set their budgets, they didn’t take into account the cost of insurance. Because of this, they believe they won’t be able to afford it. They can, and you can too. Ask yourself this: would you rather pay a few hundred dollars a year to protect your business in the event of a disaster, or would you rather pay thousands of dollars out of pocket to replace your merchandise and mechanical equipment? Did your original small business budget include the cost of replacing big-budget items? If not, your new business most likely does not have the funds for repairs or replacements.

Do you want to risk your business because you didn’t have the security system or insurance in place to protect your dreams? Disasters and looting can happen anywhere. Don’t be left empty handed.

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