Workshop aims to keep businesses afloat after disaster


Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 2:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 2:34 p.m.

When disaster hits a home or business, the effects are unpredictable. That's why it's best to be prepared.

Facts

If you go

The “Bulletproof Your Business” workshop will be held Friday, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., at Best Western, 4200 NW 97th Blvd. Available to Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association members and nonmembers, the workshop is in collaboration with the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Florida Small Business Development Center. There is no cost to attend.

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association will present a free opportunity for local businesses to learn how to prepare for disasters in a series named "Bulletproof Your Business."

The workshop will show local businesses how to create disaster preparedness plans, utilize property protection checklists and protect their companies.

Philip Geist, a certified business analyst and area director at the University of North Florida's Small Business Development Center, and Lynne McChristian, the Florida representative for the Insurance Information Institute, will be speaking Friday.

"It's designed by the experts to talk about how you begin to monitor things," Carol Dover, president and CEO of Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, said. "They should have a plan written, know exactly where it is."

Geist will talk about the elements of a business continuity plan.

These plans, for example, will answer what hotels and restaurants should do if they lose power and do not have backup generators to keep food refrigerated, Dover said.

"We can't assume that business owners already know anything," she said. "You'd be surprised how many times they don't have proper insurance coverage."

McChristian will discuss insurance coverage, which she said is something people buy without understanding how it works.

"People generally look at how much it costs, rather than what they need," McChristian said. "Insurance is supposed to be tied to what your needs are."

She said people should understand the difference between replacement cost coverage and actual cash value.

Replacement cost coverage is when a damaged item gets replaced with something equal to it. Actual cash value is a depreciated amount of that item, meaning the insurance holder will not have enough money to replace it.

With actual cash value, McChristian said there is more risk for the insurance holder. "You pay less in insurance, but then you pay more after some type of calamity."

She will also discuss flood insurance, building ordinance and law coverage, the importance of inventories and insurance risk and preparation.

"You have to prepare for the worst that can happen, hoping that it never does," McChristian said.

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