It’s Hurricane Season: Is Your Business Prepared?
Once we start seeing heat waves, you know that hurricane season is in full swing. Especially if you live on the coast, you can never be too prepared for tropical storms – and that preparedness is not limited to just your home. Perhaps you’ve already stocked up on bottled water and canned goods, made a family emergency plan, and reinforced your outdoor shed…but what have you done to protect your business? If your office building or storefront is affected, it could result in millions of dollars’ worth of lost profits. Here are some ways you can do some pre-emptive damage control.
Protect your Physical Property
It’s important to begin thinking about what you’ll do to protect your workplace. If you live in a particularly hurricane-prone location, you’ll want to reinforce your windows and doors with shutters or even plywood. Have a roofer come make sure that your roof is in good shape and patch any weak spots to prevent leaking. Remove loose branches on nearby trees and secure any outdoor furniture or other objects that could blow away. Sandbag the basement, or any area of the building that floods easily. If your area has a storm watch, you may want to secure/cover expensive electronics and turn off utilities as well.
Protect your Business Information
Make sure that everyone in the office has a list of contacts in case they have an emergency, and make sure that your file of business contacts (insurance companies and banks, namely) is up to date. If you use the cloud for your business operations, you’re in luck – the cloud offers a lot of disaster avoidance services, but it’s still important to back up files that can’t easily be reproduced such as insurance documents and accounting statements. If a storm is expected for the next day, it might be a good idea to have everyone forward their office phones to their mobile phones just in case.
Keep a Checklist of Necessary Items
Do you have perishables on-site? It might be a good idea to have a backup cooler or generator to make sure you don’t lose out on a lot of inventory. Additionally, every business should have an emergency kit containing flashlights, food supplies, pillows and blankets, flashlights, a toolkit, and a list of emergency contact information. Although we never expect to be trapped at work when a storm strikes, after the recent flooding in Texas, you know that you can never be too safe.