Every year towards the end of summer and early fall, home and business owners across the country pay close attention to the weather. While some may be checking to see when they can bust out the scarves and pumpkin spice lattes, others are concerned about hurricanes. Each year hurricanes do millions and in some cases billions of dollars in damage. These storms impact home owners, renters, traditional business owners and cannabis related business owners as well. As states legalize marijuana along the eastern seaboard, cannabis business owners will need to know what to do to protect their marijuana businesses when a hurricane is approaching.
Hurricanes can develop quickly and bring significant flooding and strong winds especially to communities along the coast. Very similar to the wild fires of the west coast, insurers have catastrophe teams ready to respond if and when the storms produce significant property damage. “If a storm does cause property damage, it’s important to contact your insurer or agent as soon as possible so they can help you begin the process of restoring your business,” says Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance Specialists.
Officials in the potential path of a still fierce Hurricane Florence had a stern, clear message for people still in coastal towns under evacuation orders.
Leave. Now. “You put your life at risk by staying,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. “Don’t plan to leave once the winds and rains start.”
Cooper and his South Carolina counterpart, Henry McMaster, told the more than 1 million people who have been told to leave that if they don’t, they are on their own.
McMaster told residents in some counties that emergency responders will be pulled from areas expected to be hit hard. “Even the rescuers cannot stay there,” he said.
Florence is forecast to crawl up to the North Carolina coast late this week and turn slowly left — a development that would smash the Tar Heel State with life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and inundating rain while also endangering a large portion of South Carolina.
S2S Insurance recommends taking the following precautions:
- Review your cannabis property insurance policy, especially the “declarations” page, and check whether your policy pays replacement costs, or actual cash value for a covered loss.
- Inventory your business, not only your merchandise, but computers, electronics, office furniture, display cases, point of sale systems, and all items of value. Take pictures and or video of all of them and keep all in a safe place.
- Protect your property by covering all windows and doors with plywood or shutters if possible.
- Keep all receipts of any repairs after the fact so you can be reimbursed by your insurance company.
- Contact your insurance adjuster for referrals to professional cleaning services, salvage companies, restoration companies, if these additional services are needed.
As a cannabis business owner you do not want to begin thinking about hurricanes and the damage they cause after they have already destroyed your business. It is critically important that you cover your investment and your business with sound insurance policies that can help cover the losses after a devastating storm.