EMERGENCY HURRICANE PREPARATION
According to the American Red Cross, almost half of all small businesses affected by a major disaster, such as a tornado, flood, earthquake, or hurricane, do not reopen their doors because they were unprepared for the disaster. Therefore, it is necessary for business owners and managers to consider the fact that a natural disaster is possible. Ask yourself these questions: How could I continue to conduct business if the city (or even just the streets near my building) are closed off? How could I serve my customers’ needs if my facility needed to close for several months? Could my business survive if it was closed down for several weeks or months?
Even if a hurricane does not put your company out of business, you may not be able to make contact with your customers or obtain important deliveries. To combat these risks, you must take the necessary steps before a disaster strikes to ensure business continuation.
EMERGENCY HURRICANE PREPARATION SUGGESTIONS
Consider incorporating the following hurricane preparation suggestions into your business to avoid unnecessary upsets in the event that disaster strikes:
If employees may be confined for several hours, or even days, consider stocking the following items at your place of business:
WHEN STORMS ARE IMMINENT
Once you get word that a storm is coming, you must take immediate action. First, secure your facility by covering windows with shutters or plywood. Then, cover and move equipment to a more secure area. Also, consider the following actions:
In addition to the various precautions that you should take in-house, you should also have adequate insurance coverage to protect against losses. Contact Sentinel Risk Advisors to discuss your needs and review the coverages that are right for you.
Beyond your typical policies, consider Flood Insurance and Business Interruption coverage policies. Also, have your business appraised every five years and provide appraisal documentation to Sentinel. In addition, conduct an inventory of your supplies and equipment, including photographs of these items and descriptions. Then leave this information in an off-site location.
This checklist is merely a guideline. It is neither meant to be exhaustive nor meant to be construed as legal advice. It does not address all potential compliance issues with federal, state, or local standards. Consult your licensed commercial property and casualty representative at Sentinel Risk Advisors or legal counsel to address possible compliance requirements.