“You always see those videos on TV – someone mistakes the brake and the gas or is in drive instead of reverse, and puts their car right into a small business,” Gerta said. “But you never really think about it happening to you.” The Massachusetts business owner got the surprise of her life when a regular customer failed to stop their car and crashed through the front window of her small cafe. “I’ve talked about how nice it would be to have drive through service,” Gerta laughed, “But this isn’t what I meant!”
So what do you do when someone drives a car into your business?
The first priority is to make sure everyone is safe, including yourself, your employees and customers, and anyone who was in the vehicle. Call 911 and make sure appropriate emergency response professionals are deployed. In Gerta’s situation, “Thankfully no one was hurt,” she said. “But every ambulance, fire department and police officer in town showed up. I was very glad of all the help.”
The next step is to call your insurance agent. They’re going to have some instructions for you about securing your business and documenting the accident. It’s entirely possible that you’ll have to close your business at least for the remainder of the day. If you have appointments scheduled or other customer concerns, if possible have a trusted employee deal with rescheduling and addressing issues as needed. Arrangements will need to be made to remove the vehicle from your premises as quickly as possible.
The clean up process can be a little daunting. “There was broken glass everywhere. The tables were broken and it was just such a mess,” Gerta said. “Honestly, I was a little overwhelmed.” A friend helped out by lending a hand. When the two of them looked at the broken cafe windows, “My heart just broke,” Gerta said. “I didn’t even know what to do.”
The next step at this stage is generally to call a commercial glass services company. Even though the situation hasn’t been fully sorted out and it’s too soon to have repairs made, it’s important to have your business protected against the weather, criminals, and curious people who can’t resist sticking their nose in where it doesn’t belong and potentially getting themselves hurt. Emergency board up service is a standard post-crash response commercial glass service companies provide.