What To Do to Prepare for a Hurricane

We are in the midst of hurricane season and living on the coast it’s easy to assume that everyone knows what to do in the event a hurricane threatens. That’s not always the case. There are many things that can help sustain your business after the storm until services are restored.

If the storm is strong and you receive a direct hit, it will take longer to get back to normal business activities than if you are on the weaker edge of the storm. There may be no electricity for days and so being prepared is important. Depending upon the type of business you are in, and the advance preparations you have made, you may or may not be able to continue doing business right away.

Advance planning is important and can mean less lost time and revenue for you and your employees. Some businesses resume business the day following a hurricane, even in the event of a direct hit, because they took time and planned ahead.

Planning tips to consider:

1. Create a disaster recovery plan for your business. Do this before there is a threat so that your mind will be clear.
2. Be sure all in the company know their roles in the plan and give them the authority and resources to accomplish them.
3. Use electronic information as well as physical information and be sure each person has all user names and passwords to get to the information they need to access.
4. Create physical binders of information as needed. Put only necessary information in these binders and store all else in a web based file system. The cloud is usually available…
5. Consider your phone system well in advance and be sure your workers, customers, or clients can reach you in the event of an emergency.
6. If you have time, reach key clients and customers in advance to let them know of a possible interruption in service. Sometimes the best surprise is no surprise.
7. If there is a direct hit, consider whether or not to evacuate your business and where to go in the event you do decide to evacuate. It’s much more comfortable to do business in an air conditioned hotel conference room out of town than in a muggy, hot office in town.
8. If the threat is imminent, remove all physical information such as exhibits and displays that are necessary to your business or practice. It will be easier, less expensive and faster to remove them than it will be to recreate them later.
9. Consider using a AAA Certified Records Management Center for all types of information storage. It will be well worth the time and the investment.
10. When all has returned to “normal” take time to review the plan you followed and make any necessary changes and corrections to that plan before the next time it is needed.

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