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Business Continuity in a Natural Disaster: First Steps on the Road to Recovery

March 10, 2020

A natural disaster brings many challenges that will require not only federal or state assistance, but also creative business planning.

With our regional footprint, Adams and Reese has been impacted by the Nashville tornadoes and many other recent weather-related disasters, so we understand the challenges of getting back to business. To better assist our clients in this time of need, Adams and Reese has compiled the following guide to some of the first steps of the recovery process.

Insurance Matters and Applications for Disaster Relief

Registering for disaster relief and contacting insurers are the very first steps in the process of obtaining the resources necessary to repair and rebuild your business. This process should include the confirmation of eligibility for business interruption coverage, and the collection of proper documentation.

Adams and Reese is monitoring the status of various emergency rules issued by government agencies and the funding of relief programs to ensure our clients know what is available in the coming weeks and months. That relief can come in a variety of forms and from multiple sources, including:

  • Federal and state grants (FEMA and SBA)
  • Business disaster loans (OCD-DRU and SBA)
  • State and federal tax relief
  • Economic development incentives and tax credits
  • Federal and state construction programs

Personnel Issues

Even businesses that have well-developed emergency policies will face many questions related to employee leave and safety during the recovery. You may need to address the following issues:

  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) coverage
  • Military (including National Guard) leave
  • Employee First Responders
  • 401(k) hardship loans
  • Unemployment compensation
  • OSHA considerations
  • Plant closures

Construction Litigation

The rebuilding process has already begun in some hard-hit areas. In the longer term, it is important to protect your business from potential litigation, especially as it relates to construction, and to take measures to prevent such disputes from arising. Some of the more common types of litigation that follow a disaster involve:

  • Real estate disputes
  • Predatory pricing claims
  • False claims
  • Warranty issues
  • Construction defect claims
  • Professional Liability (Engineers and Architects)
  • Public contract and subcontract negotiations

Our team will continue to share the latest developments and provide insights.