Preparing Your Business
When planning during hurricane season, remember that not all weather events or other emergencies allow for time to prepare. That’s why the time to prepare is now.
Review these tips to be ready in the event of an emergency:
- If an evacuation order is issued, you’ll need to know how you will communicate with your employees. Make sure their contact information is up-to-date.
- Locate the evacuation route closest to your business.
- Provide your employees with enough time to secure their homes and gather supplies.
- Make sure you and your employees have a way to communicate to advise them on whether they should come to work following the passing of a major storm.
- Make sure all employees are accounted for after evacuation and designate someone to contact employees’ family and friends.
- Establish pre-arranged meeting points in case telephone and cell phone communication is cut off.
- Make sure to include in your plans customers and contractors who may visit your facility or utilize your products or services.
- Repair any loose roofing and siding.
- Trim dead or broken branches from trees near your facility.
- Move equipment away from windows and unplug electronics to protect from potential power surges.
- Purchase materials such as plywood panels, aluminum or plastic shutters, and plastic sheeting to protect windows and doors.
- The street number of your address should be clearly marked.
- Check your disaster supplies kit and obtain any items you need for the office, such as a battery-powered National Weather Service weather alert radio.
- All work trailers and most warehouse/storage facilities are extremely vulnerable to hurricane-force winds, regardless of location.
- Consider installing a standby emergency generator and that it is properly installed by a licensed electrician, or if you already have one, make sure it is tested and the fuel is topped off. Learn more about generator safety.
- Plan ahead and you may be able to establish an alternative work site if your facility were to become severely damaged or inaccessible.
- Create a business continuity plan
- Review your insurance policies and compile an inventory of your property, which can easily be done with photographs and video recordings.
- Add Business Interruption Insurance to your policy and purchase Flood Insurance.
- Important documents and computer files/data should have back ups stored in a fireproof safe off the premises.
- Prepare a list of disaster recovery services vendors.
Once the storm passes, be patient. Make the safety of your family, home, and employees your top priority. Return to your workplace only after it is safe to travel. Then you can take an inventory of any losses.
- Preparation Checklist (PDF)