Are you thinking you want to go do CAT work outside of your established work area? Usually the thinking goes like this: I’ll just go and cherry pick some losses, get paid when I start the job, make a pile of money, and then go back to my normal work environment. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that easy!

I asked one of my clients the following question: “Mike, was it worth it to come to this big CAT?”  He said that it would depend. I asked what would it depend on. He simply replied, “well it depends on whether I get paid or not!”

preparing for disaster

Before making the leap, on a moment’s notice, to open an office outside your normal area, here are some questions that need to be answered IMMEDIATELY:

  • Who is going to stay behind and run the existing office?
  • Who is going to run the new office? 
  • Do we have an excess of reserves to cash flow the new office and its work efforts? 
  • How many excess people do you have to take with you to operate the new office? 
  • Will the people staying home be able to address the work and maintain the quality level needed for the existing office not to stumble? 
  • Will the amount of equipment left behind be enough to support the local workload? 
  • Will the amount of equipment taken be enough to handle the workload of the new office? 
  • How long are you planning on being gone? 
  • What will the decision to return home be made on? 
  • Where will your people be housed, fed, and cared for? 
  • What will be the rotation policy for your people to rotate back home to be with their families? 
  • Would it be important to have a general meeting with all company members and their families to address their questions and concerns? 
  • What types of jobs are you going to seek out?  What types of jobs are you going to turn down? 
  • Do you have any friends in the disaster area who could help with:
    1. Places for you and your people to stay.
    2. Finding insurance customers.
    3. People to hire when you get there.
    4. Locating materials on site.
    5. Connecting with local subcontractors.
    6. Knowing what areas are good for work, and which areas are best to ignore. 
  • Where will you get your banking needs addressed? 
  • Can you get paid for your travel expenses and paying your people overtime? 
  • How are you going to handle your company being “from out of the area” and what the local contractors will say about you?
  • Have you run this idea by your Board of Advisors?
  • Have you run this idea by your circle of friends and family?
  • Is this decision based on sound business decisions, ego, or greed?

Hopefully, this list should cause you to ask some additional questions of all concerned as to what you are considering doing. There is no right or wrong answer, but you need to get these questions answered with all concerned in this potential effort.

In our current economy, one of the things to keep firmly in mind is that employees will lose their jobs if this effort fails, but employers will lose their jobs and assets. It’s much easier to find another job in our current economy than it is to replace assets.