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Be Prepared With Hurricane Irma Quickly Approaching3 min read

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.

BEFORE A HURRICANE STRIKES
  • 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
WHEN A HURRICANE IS IMMINENT
  • 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
AFTER THE HURRICANE PASSES
  • 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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