It’s not too late to prepare
Hurricane season officially begins June 1st each year and runs through Nov. 30, but that doesn’t mean that a named storm won’t pop up before then. In 2018 the first named storm, made landfall Memorial Day weekend.
No matter each season’s predictions, it’s important to be prepared both at home and at the office. The Insurance Information Institute reported that disaster-related insured losses for 2017 were the highest on record at $135 billion. One major reason: the costliest hurricane season ever in the United States.
According to the institute, almost 40 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors after a disaster. Getting your business back up and running after a storm depends on the type of planning you do in advance.
Consider these questions:
- What if my business is inaccessible?
- What if payroll cannot be completed or issued?
- Is there a safer location for the equipment?
- Are valuable paperwork, files and archives safe?
- Can business carry on with minimal employees? Who are they?
It can also be helpful to talk to an accountant, building manager, IT professional and insurance agent to identify your most important assets. Identifying your business’ assets, whether they are a physical building, data or equipment, will help with continuity after a hurricane.
Ready.gov stresses the importance of involving employees in your emergency plan and reports that when employers encourage employees to be prepared for disasters, employees are 75 percent more likely to take action. Clarifying roles and responsibilities, reinforcing knowledge of procedures, facilities, systems and equipment, and evaluating policies, procedures and the knowledge and skills of team members will ensure that employees know what to do if disaster strikes.
Preparedness Checklist for Businesses
- Identify hazards
- Know your business’ assets
- Determine vulnerabilities
- Identify key staff members, equipment, suppliers, etc.
- Create an emergency plan
- Secure your equipment
- Assemble an emergency kit
- Communicate risks and plans to employees
LUS Hurricane Handbook (http://lus.org/images/docs/LUSHH2016.pdf)
Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (La.) (getagameplan.org/planBusiness.htm)
Texas Department of State Health Services (http://www.texasprepares.org/)