When disaster strikes

When disaster strikes

We often think of disasters as something that won’t happen to us. Though they are often unexpected, it is important for any business to be prepared in case disaster strikes. Planning for the worst will ultimately help minimize both the potential damage and recovery time for your business.

When designing a prevention plan, the safety of your staff should come first. To ensure that your employees are prepared for the unexpected, you should develop both a disaster plan and business continuity plan. A disaster plan will explain what to do in case of emergency and how you will communicate to employees if the time comes. A business continuity plan focuses on the aspects of your business that are vital to keep it running and how employees charged with this work will continue doing their jobs.

When it comes to areas such as buildings, equipment, livestock, and crops, there are measures you can take to mitigate potential damage to your business. One way is to keep accurate inventory of all livestock and equipment. This way you will be able to easily determine if livestock is missing or what equipment is damaged or needs to be replaced. Regularly inspecting and maintaining your property, as well as installing protective devices and materials, can also lessen the physical damage to your land and buildings in the case of a natural disaster.

If you do experience a disaster that leaves lasting effects on your agriculture business, there are several resources that can provide relief. If you suffer from crop damage, you may qualify for government aid in the form of crop insurance proceeds or crop disaster payments. You will also be able to claim losses resulting from a disaster on your tax return. More information on deducting disaster losses can be found on irs.gov.

CREDITS

column by STEVEN E. CRISMAN

BIO: Steven Crisman is the managing partner of Cross, Fernandez & Riley, LLP’s (C/F/R) Winter Haven office and leads their Agriculture Practice Group. He primarily serves the agriculture, manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution industries. He has specific experience with citrus growers, cattle ranchers, citrus and other horticultural nurseries, citrus harvesters and other support industries as well as watermelon, blueberry and other growers.   In addition, Steve provides comprehensive tax and estate planning, attestation and business succession planning services.