It’s Time for Business Hurricane Preparation

Hurricane season officially started on June 1 and lasts until November 30th. It’s the right time to make sure that your business is ready and secure. And if an update of your Emergency manual is needed, take the time to do so (or to add to your existing reference manual or to develop one if you don’t have one — no judgment here!).

Having a strategic plan to be prepared and resilient in case of hurricanes is incredibly important for business continuity.  What is it they say? An ounce of hurricane preparation is worth a pound of cure!  I believe that, do you?

There is a plethora of information about preparing for a hurricane and one that stood out is called Working with Small Businesses to Prepare for Emergencies {download}.  I also found this helpful business checklist for hurricane safety.  You can also follow this Pinterest Board that is chock full of important resources and other information from reliable sources.  I also created a list of takeaways from my research.

What to do for business continuity in the case of a hurricane…

Before a hurricane…

  • sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • set up a communication chain with your staff so you can be in touch with your team during a hurricane.
  • set up a business emergency response plan {download example}
  • determine your business’ continuity resource requirements {downloads}
  • know how to access SBA’s hurricane recovery resources {Pin}
  • if you want do business with FEMA and your business is located in a disaster area, you could be eligible for the industry liaison program. FEMA also has a list of local contracting opportunities on its website.
  • make a business Continuity Plan {download example} for what you will do in an emergency – disseminate the plan, make it easy to reference.  Ensure emergency contact information is available: Emergency contact information such as the nearest hospital and police, along with: Life safety issues: 9-1-1 | Small Business Administration (SBA): 1-800-359-2227 FEMA Tele-registration hot-line: 1-800-462-9029 | Insurance company and agent’s contact information
  • practice, practice, practice so you and your team are familiar with the emergency procedures.  Talk about it in meetings, don’t let the emergency procedures manual collect dust! Check out this Business Protection Toolkit: Preparing IS Your Business {download}
  • protect your property & infrastructure {check out this business computer inventory form {download}
  • secure sensitive documents and/or create password protected digital copies
  • is your data backed up and recoverable?
  • talk to your vendors and any entity in your supply chain: make sure they know how and where to contact you. Talk about possible disruptions and how you will address any issues.
  • set up business emergency kits: include checks, letterhead, insurance info, phone and contact info of vendors and staff.
  • do you have business emergency supplies? {download info}
  • contact your insurance agent and make sure your policies are up to date

During a hurricane

  • stay safe!!!
  • be prepared to work remotely – consider a contingency office location in case your office is damaged or not possible to reach.
  • keep in touch with your team and give updates to ensure everyone is on the same page
  • listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.  Check out this pin for reference of where to get information during a hurricane.  Emergency Alert System information, here.
  • if evacuated, wait for the ‘all-clear.’

After …

  • stay safe!!!
  • assess the situation with a Business Impact Analysis Worksheet {downloadexample}

This is by no means a comprehensive list … Over to you, what do you do at your organization to prepare for a hurricane?  Do you have an emergency plan in place?

BTW, I wrote an article about Hurricane Irma Prep that you might find useful too, read the article here. And be sure to follow the Pinterest Board that I keep updated with articles I find along my way on these interwebs, you can view or follow it here.

Certified WBENC