August 29, 2005 is a date that most of us living in Louisiana will remember forever. That is the date that Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and South Mississippi. This hurricane changed the social and physical landscape of New Orleans and surrounding areas.
Here in Acadiana, we were spared the effects of this terrible storm. We were lucky. Will we be as lucky the next time a horrific hurricane like Katrina threatens South Louisiana? Don’t know, but there are immediate steps we can take to lessen the potential financial effect on our small businesses should this and any other natural disaster strikes Acadiana.
The first thing to do is to make certain that all of the assets of your small business are tabulated and recorded. This would include vehicles, trailers, computers, tools, buildings and improvements, furniture, etc. You can’t claim a loss on your tax return unless you have good records. Store those asset records in a safe place, not necessarily at your place of business. Second, make certain that those assets are covered by your business insurance policy. While you are on this step, have your insurance agent review your present coverage to make certain that your insurance policy protects most if not all of your business assets.
Could a Katrina happen in this area? We hope not, but you never know. A little disaster planning now can pay huge dividends in the future.