June marks the beginning of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season in the United States, a time when business owners who are geographically located in hurricane prone areas may suffer from “Hurricane Amnesia.” This phenomenon occurs when one is unprepared for the potential threat ahead due to previously inactive seasons that had no effect on their business. If a hurricane were to strike your city, can you ensure your business will survive? Follow these 5 ways to prepare your business for Hurricane Season:
1. Ensure your business’ roof can withstand the storm. Have the roof of your building evaluated to ensure it is structurally sound and best suited to endure heavy rains, hail and high winds that are characteristic of hurricanes.
2. Anchor large furniture and protect valuable equipment. Mount bookcases, filing cabinets and appliances to walls and floors to avoid further damage to your assets. Secure electronics such as computers and other office equipment with straps or velcro and cover with plastic. Remove items of high value from the property or relocate them to higher locations within the building, if possible, to avoid damage from rising waters.
3. Protect and backup vital records. Back-up records that are not easily produced such as insurance documents, legal contracts, tax returns, accounting statements and other personnel and administrative documents in case of loss.
4. Be prepared when the power inevitably goes out. Turn off all utilities prior to a hurricane making landfall if possible. In the event of a power outage, have a generator on site, and refuel all company vehicles, motors, and other equipment to be available at a moment’s notice.
5. Organize “emergency contacts” prior to a disaster. Compile and save important contacts that are crucial to business operations, such as employees, banks, lawyers, accountants, suppliers, and a full-service disaster recovery firm capable of assessing the damage, developing a scope of work, liaising with insurers and carrying out necessary repairs.