The 2022 hurricane season is upon us and the most efficient way to ensure the protection of your employees and business is by preparing early. In the past, businesses have failed to educate and prepare their employees ahead of time and have faced disastrous consequences because of it. Crafting an early plan of action will save you a tremendous headache in the case of a hurricane hitting your area.
While you should always hope for the best, you should also be prepared for the worst. In this blog, we will discuss the importance of hurricane preparedness and provide you with an insightful guide on how to prepare your business ahead of time.
Why Hurricane Preparedness Is Necessary For Your Company
Natural disasters are completely out of our control; however, being prepared for one isn’t. Companies located in the coastal area are far too familiar with hurricane season. Even when there’s no damage to your property, big storms can disrupt local businesses for days or even weeks. Road closures, power outages, and mandatory evacuations are all possible in the case of a severe hurricane. For the sake of your business and employees, a plan should be thought out and your team should be informed.
This topic is important and relevant now as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting 2022 to be an above-average hurricane season. With that being said, here is an outline of effective steps to take to prepare your business for this year’s hurricane season.
Determine Your Most Important Assets
You want to start by looking at what factors keep your business flowing smoothly and what assets will be impacted by a hurricane. These assets are most likely your employees, your inventory, and your physical location.
The most significant aspect of almost every business is the employees. A company cannot function properly without a dedicated team. Employees expect to be taken care of by the company and to do so you need to ensure they are up to date with your organization’s hurricane protocol. In the event of a hurricane, it’s the business owner’s responsibility to keep employees safe, informed, and connected. Take these factors into consideration when preparing your team for hurricane season:
- Where is each employee located, not just their address, but in real-time?
- Which employees come into work and which work remotely?
- Are all employee addresses and emergency contact information up to date?
- Do you have a mass notification system in place within your organization?
- Make sure your employees clearly understand how their work responsibilities are affected by an evacuation or in other scenarios.
- Encourage employees to implement a personal plan for themselves and their families.
Considering these factors will help you and your employees in the case of an emergency. Businesses that don’t preemptively prepare may be in a panic trying to coordinate everything last minute. Avoid this stressful situation by taking the initiative and educating your employees far before a hurricane is even announced.
Technology, data, networks, supplies, equipment, products, and facilities are all factors you want to consider when protecting your business. Hurricane threats include flooding and dangerous winds, but they can also lead to power outages and gas shortages. You must always be prepared for the worst. When identifying what inventory to protect, consider the following:
- Where are your assets located?
- Do you have a form of physical protection for your assets?
- Which assets are most important for the future of your business?
- Are any of your assets leased and what are you liable for if damaged?
- Which assets are owned and insured?
This quick mental checklist will give you a better understanding of your most important inventory and allows you to prioritize which assets need to be protected.
If your company has a physical location or warehouse, you need to consider how you’re going to reinforce and protect your property. Even if your location is in-land, hurricanes are unpredictable and severe damage can still happen. Here are some questions to ask and things to consider before a hurricane:
- What are the addresses of all your locations, including facilities and transportation lots?
- Which employees work at each location?
- What is the evacuation route for your specific location?
- What are the major risks at each location and how secure are they to withstand potential damage?
- Prepare locations by moving important equipment away from windows.
- Consult with an engineer to assess the integrity of your walls, windows, and buildings.
Assessing all of this ahead of time will save you lots of time, energy, and stress, so you’re not driving last second from location to location in a rush.
Other Aspects To Consider
Implementing a communication system for your business is a life-saving tool. Having a platform available where employees can easily contact each other is not only good for work related issues, but also in the case of an emergency, like a hurricane. This allows for team members to ensure each other’s safety, and provides two-way communication within your organization. Some of the best communication systems for businesses include Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Discord.
Important Company Data
Make sure that any important company data is backed up on a device located in a safe place, as flooding can destroy on-site services. To save you time, you should back up data on a regular basis so you have one less thing to worry about. If servers were to go down, backing up your data will protect your business’s information and have it back up and running quickly.
Review Insurance Policies
It’s important you remember to review your contracts with vendors, landlords, and insurance providers. Your insurance policy should specifically list what weather-related damage/loss it covers, if any. If you are not sure, contact your insurance provider for further clarification. This will help prevent unforeseen insurance expenses and help ensure your business is protected from potential damage.
Take The Steps To Protect Your Business
As we enter hurricane season, implementing a company plan and communicating it to your employees is of the utmost importance. Not only does this support the well-being of your team members, but it also helps protect your business against potential loss/damage.
One of the best preemptive measures you can take is reviewing your insurance policies. With over two decades of experience working in Florida, our team at Alltrust Insurance is vastly familiar with hurricane insurance and weather related coverage. By taking the right steps today, you can help protect your business for a long time to come. If you have any questions regarding insurance policies and hurricane season, Alltrust Insurance can help. Contact us, and we can educate and inform you on different coverages which will help protect your business.