Whether you realize it or not, your carwash and its employees are always planning for something. From the morning setup to the evening shutdown, quality employees and teams are continually planning and organizing. Most of the time, these on-site planning steps are taken to improve or maintain efficiencies.

However, as an owner or operator, you plan in very different, less tangible ways as well. For example, reading this publication and attending industry trade shows are prime ways to prepare your business for what’s ahead in order to meet ever-evolving customer demands.

So far, these planning steps have centered around serving one group: the customers. But, after a catastrophic event, such as a natural disaster, are you really prepared for what’s next? As natural disasters tear through or flood a community, your customers, employees and business can all be negatively affected.

A natural disaster event can be financially and emotionally stressful and draining.

Earlier this year, a report from German reinsurance firm Munich Re offered a glimpse at the financial impact natural disasters have across the globe. The report noted that in 2016, damage caused by natural catastrophes amounted globally to $175 billion, which is the highest in four years. The firm added that only 30 percent of the losses, or $50 billion, were insured.

While you can properly prepare and protect your business from property losses, as outlined in our cover story this month, an emotional impact could be a little more difficult to prepare for.

Like your carwash, your customers and employees are part of the community. Employee morale and customer business could wane after a devastating event. In addition to assessing property damage, filing insurance claims and making arrangements to relocate, some of your employees, customers and their families may be dealing with injury or loss of life.

In 2015 alone, according to Munich Re, 25,400 people were killed as a result of a natural disaster.

As an owner or operator, make sure your staff has the flexibility before, during and after a storm to put safety and their personal life needs first.

Some communities take years and even decades to rebuild after a natural disaster. Just like your daily routine, planning is essential.