|Hurricane preparation checklist for businesses|
Hurricane safety is as important for business owners as it is for homeowners. Being prepared can help protect your business and employees, and get you back in business sooner.
Below is a general checklist of what to do before, during and after a hurricane:
Know your risk
Check your hurricane evacuation level and flood maps to determine if your business location is vulnerable to storm surge or rain water flooding. Have your building(s) inspected by a licensed professional to find out if your workplace is vulnerable to hurricane force winds and what is recommended to retrofit.
Take the necessary precautions
If a storm threatens, secure your building and windows. Cover and move furniture and equipment to a secured area.
Always protect your data with backup files
If dependent on data processing, consider an alternate site. Make provisions for alternate communications and power.
Limited supplies preparedness
Make plans to work with limited cash, no water, sewer or power for two weeks. Store emergency supplies at the office.
Protect your employees
Establish a rendezvous point and time for employees in case damage is severe and communications are disrupted. Establish a call-down procedure for warning and post-storm communication. Provide photo ID’s and a letter of authorization to enter the building.
Contact your customers & suppliers
Share your communications and recovery plan in advance. Prepare a list of vendors to provide disaster recovery services.
Review your insurance coverage
Have your business appraised at least every five years. Inventory, document and photograph equipment, supplies and workplace. Have copies of insurance policies and customer service/home numbers. Check with your insurance provider to see if flood damage requires separate coverage.
After the storm
Use caution before entering your business. Check for power lines, gas leaks and structural damage. If any electrical equipment is wet, contact an electrician. Prepare loss information for insurance claims, and get independent estimates of damages. Take pictures before cleanup.
Even though there are advanced warnings when a hurricane threatens your area,the sooner you put a system in place to protect your business, the better off you will be.