5 Steps Business Owners Can Take to Prepare for a Hurricane on Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard
The last week of September is Hurricane preparedness week in the U.S. The potential dangers from a hurricane or any significant storm include storm surge, power outages, possible electrical hazards, and falling trees. We know that nothing bad ever happens at a convenient time so now is the time to Plan, Talk, and Practice your Emergency Profile Response. Be ready for anything at any time. Here are five steps that business owners can take to be ready for a hurricane or any other storm.
- Create a Plan of Action. Establish who will be notified and in what order. This will help to keep everyone calm and creates a sense of order for both your employees and customers. Identify how you will communicate before, during, and after a hurricane. Remember, service for things like landlines, cell phones may be limited, so you will want to establish alternative forms of communication. Make sure employees are given a master cell phone contact list and everyone has it. A couple of good ways to let the public know you are still in business is through local radio, blogging, and social media outlets. Prepare a message prior to a storm. This is an ideal way to minimize the down time of communication.
- Establish your Needs:The #1 concern is electricity. Make sure a licensed electrician determines your power needs and what kind of back-up generator will work best for your situation. If you rent a space, check with the landlord first and get permission to bring a generator on to the property.
- Supply and Demand. Develop a master list of your vendors who understand your company’s needs and its expectations if the “Big One” hits! Don’t forget to ask them if they have a recovery plan too!
- Double Check Coverage. Contact your insurance agent to find out if your policy is up-to-date. Consider Business Interruption Insurance, which compensates you for lost income if you have to close your doors when disaster strikes. It’s also important to understand what your carrier’s plan is for recovery if there is a large area effected by damage.
- Prepare Staff. Your staff should be aware of your company’s Emergency Response Profile and understand their role and responsibilities in implementing the plan. Like your vendors, you should ask your employees if they have a recovery plan. We have a monthly staff meeting at our office and every September we always find it timely to share with our staff the importance of being prepared during hurricane season.