When the storm is over, the recovery work begins.
Adams and Reese LLP shared tips in helping businesses recover after a natural disaster, such as Hurricane Matthew, recently.
“We understand how a major weather event changes lives,” Adams and Reese Executive Committee Chairman and partner in the firm’s Columbia office Bil” McElveen Jr. said. “After the initial personnel safety and property damage concerns are addressed, businesses can face a multitude of economic, human resources and rebuilding issues.”
After the storm is over and all personnel have checked in, placing an insurance claim and applying for disaster relief are at the top of the recovery checklist. Relief programs may include the National Flood Insurance Program, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Small Business Administration, federal and state tax relief and other business and unemployment programs.
In addition to the insurance and various relief programs, personnel issues may conflict with the company's recovery plan. Staff in the National Guard or military reserves may be called to active duty for the duration of the disaster. Employees may need Family and Medical Leave Act coverage. If the business or plant is closed temporarily, unemployment compensation and 401(s) hardship loans must be dealt with by payroll or human resources. Even if the office or facility is able to open, OSHA regulations must be followed to ensure employee safety during the recovery and rebuilding effort.
“Many of our attorneys have been through natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, Alabama tornadoes, flooding in Nashville and the most recent historic Louisiana flooding," Adams and Reese Jacksonville Partner Tim Volpe said. “Our ‘Road to Recovery' information is a great reference and a place to start the process of rebuilding after Hurricane Matthew.”