Hurricane preparedness is critical for both homes and businesses. Did you know that 40 percent of small businesses that close due to hurricane damage do not reopen? Don’t let that happen to you. Prepare now! Here are essential steps you can take to protect your business from hurricanes.
- Know the Risks – Do you know your area’s risk for hurricanes and floods? Knowing this helps you determine your business’s risk factor and prepare for what may come. Use FEMA’s Map Service Center where you can enter your address to see your flood zone.
- Protect Your BuildingMake sure your facility meets local hurricane building code specifications.
- Install shutters or plywood to protect windows and doors.
- Make sure the roof of your building can withstand a storm.
- Remove branches or trees near your building that could fall and damage it.
- Sandbag areas that are prone to flooding.
- Anchor and brace large furniture to wall studs.
- Move valuable or fragile possessions to a safe area.
- Secure electronics and other office equipment with straps or Velcro.
- Clean out floor drains and check sump pumps.
- Anchor and fill above-ground tanks with water.
- Turn off all the utilities before a hurricane arrives.
- Shut down production processes safely.
- Protect Important Documents – Keep copies of important records such as building plans, insurance policies, tax returns, bank account information, legal contracts, and more in a waterproof container. Store a second set of copies at an off-site location. Back up your digital data to a remote server.
- Check Your Insurance – Review insurance policies to ensure you have enough damage coverage. Get business disruption insurance to help cover loss of income after a storm. Also make sure you have flood insurance well before a hurricane hits. It takes 30 days for flood insurance to take effect.
- Make an Emergency Response Plan – Include how to protect employees and customers, manage business operations, and communicate during and after the disaster. Plan how to exit the office building, how to reach a designated meeting place, and ensure those who have a disability can get out easily. Practice the plan.
- Make a Communications Plan – Keep an updated list of all your employees’ contact numbers and email addresses. Plan how to contact clients, suppliers, and employees during and after a storm. Be prepared to let employees know when, if, and how to report to work after a hurricane.
- Create a Business Continuity Plan – This will help your business operate and recover faster after a disaster. The plan should specify how to manage communication with customers and suppliers, how to fulfill order or service contracts, and how to recover lost company data.
If your business has been hit by hurricane damage or floods, hire a professional restoration company such as PuroClean to safely and quickly restore your facility to pre-loss condition. For water removal services and mold cleaning services, contact your local PuroClean office.