Business Checklist for Hurricane Preparedness
Hurricanes can have a devastating impact on businesses. During Hurricane Sandy, it is estimated that private companies in the vicinity lost billions of dollars as a whole. You need to be prepared and limit your risk. A simple way to do that is by creating a checklist of things to have on-hand for the next storm.
First, you need to be certain all pertinent documents are secured. Anything related to your suppliers, accountants or attorneys needs to be backed up. Your files should be uploaded onto a hard drive or USB stick. In the event your business holds on to physical copies, you would want to keep them in waterproof containers. In fact, it can be good to keep files in your office building and then additional copies in another location so that you still have them in the event flooding occurs.
It is good to invest in the security of your building. Invest in window and door shutters to protect them from extreme winds. Before hurricane season comes around, typically in June, you want a professional to inspect your building’s siding and roofing to ensure those structures can withstand a storm. Lastly, it is good to sandbag areas that are at risk of flooding.
Emergency Contact Information
When a hurricane is coming, you want to make sure you have certain organizations’ contact information readily available. You should have the phone number for your local Small Business Administration. You also need the contact information for your insurance provider. If you do not currently have insurance, then you want to take out a policy as soon as you can. Some areas make it mandatory by law for businesses to have flood insurance. Even if your area does not require it by law, it is still beneficial to have it.
Contact Information Between All Employees
It is advantageous to have some kind of communication system in place so that employees can talk with one another and other people off the premises. You may not want to rely entirely on your office’s phone and email system. In the event a hurricane appears, it could knock out all local telecommunication systems. There are free services available, such as apps or emergency email accounts, where people can communicate even if the main lines are down.
Meteorological Team Updates
When you are running a business, you naturally want everyone to work as much as possible. However, when a storm is approaching, you do not want to put people in danger so that you can make a little more money. However, how do you know when a weather watch is the real thing and when it is a false alarm? Meteorological services are offered where you can speak with weather intelligence experts who can provide you with real time weather data and hourly updates. This lets you know if you can continue operating or if it is time for everyone to evacuate.
Other Important Items
You never know when a storm will develop unannounced. You need to be ready in the event a hurricane develops while people are still at the office. Make sure you have the following items in your office building in case you get trapped in the premises for an extended period of time.
•Non-perishable food for three days
•Water to last for three days
•Battery operated television or radio
•First aid kit
•Basic tool kit
•Flashlights and extra batteries
•Chairs, pillows, and blankets
•Fully operational smoke alarms
•Cash and credit cards
Double check everything previously discussed to make sure you are ready for the upcoming hurricane season. Restock supplies if you have to, and contact Earth Networks through this online form if you would like to learn more about preparing your business for intense weather.