With the Atlantic hurricane season already underway as of June 1 and continuing through the end of November, it’s important to make sure your facility or business is prepared for severe storms. There are many factors to consider when assessing the risk your facility faces during a hurricane. Following are a few tips to ensure that your company is more than prepared in the event of an emergency.
Prepare a plan
The most important thing a company or facility needs to limit the risk from a hurricane is a plan. Those who have a robust disaster preparedness plan are able to decrease dangers brought on by severe storms, return to normal business operations faster and suffer less downtime in the workplace. If your company is serious about preparing for a severe storm or hurricane, it’s important to include a representative from every department to help create this crisis plan. This will ensure everyone’s needs are covered. After drafting the plan, be sure to train staff and management how to execute the plan in the event of a disaster. Your plan should include crisis communications, business continuity, and even evacuation routes, if necessary.
Practice the plan
Once you have created your disaster plan, it’s important to run through it with employees. Although having a disaster drill may seem silly, practicing it gives you and your team a familiarity and knowledge of potential problems to allow you to mount a quick, efficient and appropriate response. This reduces the amount of time and thinking required when a crisis happens and increases the speed with which you get back in business.
Prep the facility
At the beginning of every hurricane season, you’ll want to prep your facility for high winds and heavy rain. Be prepared to cover windows and doors with plywood to protect them from flying debris. It is also a good idea to bolt bookshelves, display cases, and other large furniture to wall studs to prevent damages. Moving furniture and other important machinery onto wooden pallets can help limit the risk of water damage from flooding too.
Thankfully, technology today gives up the ability to predict the path and severity of hurricanes. It’s important to stay informed of the hurricane’s intended path so you can make the necessary preparations accordingly. If a minor hurricane or tropical storm is projected to hit your area, you may not need to pull out all the bells and whistles to prep your business. However, if it is a major storm and is projected to be a direct hit, then you will certainly want to take more extreme precautions.
With these helpful tips, you’ll be able to eliminate a lot of the risks a hurricane can pose on your facility.