Disaster Preparedness – What You Can Do For Your Agency and its Customers

The past few days have brought us both the best and the worst that Spring has to offer.  The weather this past weekend, at least in the Atlanta Metro area, was just about perfect.  But yesterday both on the news and here in Georgia, we were reminded that the weather can turn violent and deadly.  Fortunately, so far, Georgia appears to have escaped the worst of the latest weather system that spread death and destruction across Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee.

However, we can’t count on being lucky all the time.  Every business owner should develop a plan for what to do in the event that a weather related or other disaster strikes and this is especially true for insurance agencies, whose business it is to provide protection from loss.  There is no better customer relationship building experience than for an insurance agency to withstand a disaster and be there for its customers in their time of need.  For agencies looking for ways to provide value added service for their customers, giving them tips and other information on what they can do to protect their family and property when disaster strikes is a great way to start.

There is no shortage of resources to which an agency can turn to prepare itself and its customers to deal with a disaster.  The Agents Council on Technology has created a disaster planning checklist geared toward insurance agencies.  There is also an article posted on its site by an agent who explains how having such a plan enabled him to  serve his customers almost immediately after Superstorm Sandy.

For your customers, the Missouri Department of Mental Health has created a tip sheet for emergency preparedness that is short and to the point.  For guidance on how to prepare for a specific type of disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has created a program known as America’s PrepareAthon.  It’s website contains information on how to prepare for tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires.  It also has maps that show how often those hazards have occurred in each county in the U.S., so your agency can tailor its outreach to its customers on the hazards most likely to occur where they live.

One of the many non-government resources for disaster preparedness information is Agility Recovery.  It has a webpage of resources devoted to preparing for disasters, with many checklists and white papers that can be downloaded.  Some of these resources may be more appropriate for your agency’s business customers.

Now is the time to act to protect both your agency and its customers in case a disaster strikes.  Do something that will set your agency apart from its competitors by preparing for a disaster and informing your customers what they can do protect themselves in the event the unthinkable happens.