Be Prepared With Hurricane Irma Quickly Approaching3 Min Well Spent

From Hurricane Harvey, to the fires in Oregon, California, and Montana, to the earthquake in Mexico, to the looming threat of category-4 strength Hurricane Irma, recent events have made it only too clear that, in addition to planning to protect human life during a disaster, there must also be safeguards in place to protect the businesses that allow people to make a living.

One of the first safeguards any business should have is a comprehensive business continuity plan, complete with a backup and disaster recovery strategy. This will be touched upon in a little more detail below, but in essence, such a strategy will need to address how a business will ensure that their data and resources are protected or salvageable.

Additionally, it helps to build a checklist of all the considerations you need to take into account. While what follows is by no means a comprehensive list of preparations to take, it should serve as a starting point to your preparation.

  • Identify safety hazards and weaknesses around your building and see they are repaired.
  • Update and duplicate key information
    • Employee phone numbers
    • Employee personal emails
    • Phone numbers and emails of building management and maintenance
  • Ensure that you have taken a backup
    • This backup should be hosted off site, ideally in the cloud, safe from the effects of the disaster
  • Prepare a business continuity plan
    • A copy of this plan should also be stored offsite
    • Prepare your office, acquiring supplies and training staff
    • Develop emergency procedures for your technology
  • Test procedures on a regular basis
  • Stay connected to news/weather services to remain informed
  • Power down anything not managed by an Uninterruptible Power Supply or similar device
  • Disconnect all devices, and move any that are located near windows
  • Close doors and windows
  • Ascertain that your employees are safe
    • Implement a check-in policy to ensure your employees remain safe throughout the disaster
  • Brace yourself to ride out the disaster
  • Avoid hazardous conditions in and around your area
  • Check for employee injuries
    • See that employees receive the help/medical attention they need
  • Assess the damage to your business
  • Enact your business continuity plan
  • Assist the community in recovering
Key Contacts to Have Ready
  • Local Hospital:_________________________
  • Police:_______________________________
  • Fire Department:________________________
  • Insurance Company/Agent:_________________
  • Small Business Administration: 1-800-3592227
  • FEMA Tele-registration: 1-800-462-9029
Useful Resources

Nature is a powerful thing, and so the best that we can do is to reinforce ourselves against it and persevere. It is important to remember that of all businesses that go through a major disaster, 40 percent never reopen, and those that do have a 25% chance of closing within two years.

 Protecting your business during these dangerous, risk-laden times is imperative.

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Ben Jones

Ben Jones

Technical writer Living in Tampa, FL. Originally from Indiana. In my free time, I cook, play golf, stay active (either outside or at the gym) and patiently waiting for the next Star Wars movie.

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