The wildfire season has begun, with many Southwest and West Coast states feeling the heat from unpredictable blazes. For many residents, having to temporarily evacuate from their home is inconvenient, but it is not likely to cause continuous losses. Small to medium-sized business owners on the other hand have a whole other set of issues to deal with should a fire disrupt their normal operations.
Take Colorado, for example, which is the latest state to experience wildfires. According to Reuters, the Black Forest fire was 65 percent contained as of Sunday, June 16. The flames started last Tuesday, northeast of Colorado Springs, and so far 485 homes have been destroyed.
Local business owners though, along with tourism centers, are trying to think ahead and calculate what their costs will be from being closed long-term. Mike Bandera, general manager of the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park told The Colorado Business Journal that the Royal Gorge Bridge had 310,000 visitors last year, many of whom stayed in local hotels.
"Royal Gorge's annual revenue approaches $85 million, with most people visiting between Memorial Day and Labor Day," the article explained. "With the bridge threatened by the 3,000-acre wildfire, and reports of adjacent buildings being destroyed, evacuations earlier this week leave the entire attraction's immediate future in doubt."
The Journal added that with 8,000 acres destroyed so far, many business owners are waiting to hear damage reports as many had to evacuate in just minutes to save themselves and their families.
Commercial property insurance is just one type of policy that will be beneficial in such situations, but company leaders need to account for the area in which their business operates. That way they have the best chance at a quick recovery.