Jun 17, 2013
Fleet managers of businesses large and small need to be prepared for unforeseen natural disasters. This is not only important for the safety of their drivers and the protection of their fleets, but for the greater community as well in regards to boosting relief efforts through their available resources.
Protecting Fleets During Natural Disasters
With the ever strengthening power of natural disasters in recent years, it is important that fleet managers and operators understand how to approach the inevitable effects of Mother Nature on both small and large supply chain businesses.
For the most part, even though the value of lost physical assets is greater with a larger business, they can more easily recover lost revenue due to available capital and number of personnel. With small businesses, this tends to be the most prevalent struggling point; loss of high-value assets without enough free capital or available personnel to properly insure or replace them. Unfortunately, for a small business fleet manager, this can mean bankruptcy or liquidation.
However, making sure that this doesn't happen to your business, no matter the size, involves only a few preventive measures:
~ Full coverage insurance on all vehicles in fleet
~ Drivers have the proper resources to get out of trouble and sustain for a few days
~ Plan for communication and safety in the event of a disaster
~ Rolling backups for important data held at headquarters/ dispatch
~ Set aside a % of revenue to be used as a natural disaster fund:
1. Required expenses that will have to continue to be paid
2. Repairs that are necessary due to disaster damage
3. Register with the Small Business Administration for supplemental aid that FEMA or insurance will not be able to cover
4. Disaster kits containing nonperishable food, water, batteries, and a first aid kit at the minimum should be in each fleet vehicle
Executing these necessary steps can mean the difference between continuing business after the storm clears and leaving the doors shut for good.
Trucking Fleets Provide Relief Efforts
Trucking fleets can be an incredibly helpful resource after a catastrophic storm or earthquake. The recent tornadoes that struck through the Midwest leveled whole towns and left thousands in need. Transport Topics reported that Dart Transit Co. partnered with its shipping customers to help aid Moore, OK, by hauling loads of bottled water donated by Target Corporation.
Generally being in a more secure location than the drivers, fleet managers need to be in constant communication with their teams to provide direction on where assistance is most needed. Fleets that can provide refrigerated trucks are even more helpful in providing relief, as they can deliver fresh foods and vegetables, and temperature-sensitive medicines. However, this should not negate the relief through shelter and delivery of emergency supplies that unrefrigerated trailers can provide.
Keeping your fleet drivers and vehicles safe is important, and offering relief aid to those in need is priceless. Take care of your fleet; repair the community.