In light of the recent devastation brought by Hurricane Florence, I thought I would repeat the information I've previously posted on this subject for those who may soon face yet another potentially catastrophic loss: their corporate credit scores.
If your business lies in the impact zone, at some point in the coming days or weeks, you'll see a "Special Event" added to your D&B report. But you won't be the only one who sees it. So will any creditor or supplier who has pulled your report in the past. That alert may read as follows:
HURRICANE FLORENCE 2018: This business is located in a FEMA designated disaster zone impacted by the effects of Hurricane Florence. It is reported that thousands of people and businesses in North Carolina have been displaced due to catastrophic flooding. The extent of impact to this business is currently unknown; additional information will be provided as it becomes available.
D&B is going to place this notation into the corporate credit report of every business, even those that escaped a direct hit or were NOT impacted at all. They do this because they know this tragedy is going to reach far beyond the building's brick or wood facade. They know employees may not be able to come to work, supply lines (even those in other parts of the country) may be cut for months, current inventory may be compromised, and utilities may not be fully operational for weeks.
History has proven that businesses can be dramatically impacted by factors outside their control. D&B knows that. But D&B's analysis after a natural disaster can sometimes be equally devastating. We've seen it after the BP oil spill in the Gulf, Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Harvey, and it is certain to happen after Hurricane Florence...
D&B knows from experience that businesses that lie within the impact zone are going to face struggles others just 100 miles away will not. For some, the added burdens will be insurmountable. A high number of those businesses are not going to survive, and that's why D&B is going to add this potentially devastating notation into your business credit report.
But D&B also knows this could impact other businesses, some located thousands of miles away or around the globe, especially if those other businesses rely on YOUR COMPANY — whether for infrastructure, staffing, inventory and supply lines, transportation, or business systems.