No one franchise in Canada, unfortunately, is...
As last summer's tornadoes in Gatineau and Ottawa have demonstrated, a disaster can strike at any time. Any natural event, from blizzards to ice storms, can level your franchise business in Canada.
However, this doesn't mean you have to be unprepared. Although you can't predict the weather, you can make sure you're ready to bounce back if disaster strikes from the moment your franchise first opens it doors.
Keep your insurance in order
The first line of natural-disaster-defense for a franchise business is to make sure you have enough insurance coverage from the start. Your equipment, location (if you have one), and other business aspects should have enough coverage so you can rebuild if needed. Speak to your franchisor for help if you're not sure about what type or level of coverage you need.
Create all the necessary plans
Technically speaking, you'll need a lot of plans, some of which are required by law. An evacuation plan lays out how everyone will get out of your location quickly if something happens. Keep in mind that your escape routes have to be accessible to all customers and employees, even those with mobility issues. Any employees you have should know what the most secure part of your location is.
For other disasters that come with some advance warning, such as floods and ice storms, you will need a plan to secure your location with items such as sandbags and shutters. If you have equipment that can be moved, consider designating a safer spot for it to go in case something happens.
Another plan will involve operations. If you have shipping goods or a service offered that could be disrupted because of a disaster, you will need to address it with customers and have a backup plan. Last but certainly not least will be the cleanup plan, which will lay out what you have to do for your insurance claim and who will help you clean everything up.
Have what you need on hand
Standard safety items such as first aid kits and fire extinguishers are an obvious must, but you may need other items, too. Have flashlights ready for power outages. If you know a flood is coming, have sand bags on hand.
Hopefully, your business will never experience a disaster. However, there is always a chance disaster could strike, and you can take steps now so you are as prepared as possible for the unexpected.