The immediate impact that Hurricane Sandy has had on the Eastern seaboard is, and continues to be, massive. Considering the current toll, what will be the long-term impact? There are so many different ways that this storm will effect us all, but let’s look at the effect it will have on small businesses and how we can help ourselves minimize that damage.
Obviously, if you have a brick and mortar place of business as opposed to an online business, you are more susceptible to the immediate risks that any natural disaster will pose. If there is physical damage to your store and/or inventory, it’s going to cost you to repair and replenish. On the other hand, if you have an business and you can work from home, there is still the issue of being able to deliver goods to affected areas. Business still suffers if you can’t distribute your product.
Those are some pretty obvious ways that a major disaster could effect your business. What about the not-so-obvious examples? People/teams flying into an impacted area are no longer able to fly in. Webinars, seminars and trade shows have been cancelled. Offices are unable to communicate with other offices in different parts of the country/world.
We don’t need to be completely negative, though. The restoration businesses, the insurance industry, online service businesses and even messengers are all busy right now. Besides the few who are really thriving right now, what are some ways that we can diminish this damage? Amy Rees Anderson, a contributor to Forbes, wrote an article all about what small businesses can do: How a Small Business Can Recover from Hurricane Sandy and Other Natural Disasters.
Obviously many of these links would be helpful for a business owner who has just endured Sandy. From the application for assistance to crisis counseling for employees and their families, there are many programs out there that provide assistance. But what about just trying to return your business culture to “normal” and get your human resources to feel comfortable again? How do you reestablish yourself in the community? Unfortunately neither I, nor HRInsights, has an exact answer. But it a question worth mulling around. It would seem that a return to normal would be a major milestone on this unwanted trek. So if “normal” is possible, how do you get there? Or how do you accelerate that process?