In the U.S, hurricane season is the most destructive time of the year. running from June 1st to November 30th. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), over the last 30 years hurricanes have caused about $1.6 trillion in damages.
Hurricane season is also the high season for ice cream vendors, meaning they face a greater risk of damage to their trucks. According to a recent survey by Food Truck Empire, the average monthly income of ice cream truck drivers, after expenses and taxes, is $2,500, meaning they don’t have a lot of money to spare to recover from damages.
Of course, you can’t stop Mother Nature, but you can protect your business with these ice cream truck safety tips.
1. Make a Proper Plan
Preparation is the key to surviving a natural disaster. The plan you make should incorporate all the relevant steps that need to be taken by you and your staff during an emergency. Here are some important points you need to consider while making a plan to protect your ice cream truck:
If you operate in a hurricane-prone area like Florida, Louisiana, or North Carolina, you need to plan well in advance, don’t wait until a hurricane warning is issued.
Make sure your truck is in proper working condition, for emergency evacuation.
Check the air pressure in your tires and make sure you have spare tires on hand.
Keep an emergency kit in your truck, such as first aid supplies and fire extinguishers. Most importantly, make sure everyone knows how to use them properly.
Do not forget to take pictures of the exterior and interior of your truck before the storm. You may need them later if you file a claim for damages from the storm.
Once you make a plan, discuss it in advance with your team and make sure everyone understands their roles.
2. Check Your Insurance Policies
Having the proper Natural Disaster insurance policies in place before a storm strikes is essential. If you want to protect your ice cream truck from a hurricane, you need to review your business insurance on a regular basis to make sure you’re covered. There are different types of insurance policies and each one has varying degrees of coverage.
Commercial Property insurance: This covers most damages that are caused by a natural disaster, but does not provide coverage for damages by the flood.
Commercial Flood insurance: This is a policy you will need in order to have coverage from flood damage.
Business Interruption insurance: This enables you to file a claim for your estimated lost income during the interruption period following a natural disaster when you can not carry out your business operations.
You may choose any of these insurance packages to provide full coverage to your business and avoid a total shut-down.
3. Try to Storm-Proof Your Truck
Since your vehicle is the base of your business you need to ensure that it is safe and protected during a natural disaster. Here are some ways you can lessen the chances of severe damage.
Ensure your truck is in top condition. Take it to a mechanic to check the brake pads, engine oil, battery, ignition, and other essential parts.
Add rubber door seals to avoid any leakage and prevent flood damage.
Fill up the gas tank. It can help you get your vehicle to a safe place immediately without having to make stops for gas.
Make sure all of your lights are working properly, such as your turn signals, headlights, cabin lights, etc. to ensure increased visibility for truck operators while driving.
Never drive on flooded roads, this is extremely dangerous. According to FEMA just one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away. Also, watch for downed power lines, fallen objects, and weakened bridges and roads.
Select a safe place to park your vehicle, if possible.
4. Check Out Your State Disaster Policy
Many states offer disaster relief funds to their residents. Determine if you and your business will be eligible to receive any relief funds. These funds can help you sustain your business as well as your team after a storm.
Though summer is the fun season, don’t forget that natural disasters can put your business and profits at risk. They’re bound to occur every year, and no one can prevent them from taking their course. But, having a clear plan in place can help you ensure your business will survive.