Hurricane Disaster Planning Is a Year-Round Event for Florida Businesses
Hurricane season spans from June 1 through November 30, but Florida businesses can’t afford to wait for a major storm system before taking steps to protect their interests. Hurricanes can destroy property, injure employees, or even lead to fatalities if people don’t prepare ahead of time. Business owners should take the following steps to minimize the damage a hurricane can cause to their property and livelihood:
- Establish a continuity plan. Hurricanes are likely to put businesses out of operation for weeks or even months as waters recede and owners take the time to assess any damage and implement repairs. Business owners should create a plan for how to continue business operations in the event the company office has to remain closed well after the hurricane passes. This will require good communication options with employees so having multiple methods of contact (i.e. email, text, etc.) is vital.
- Update and consolidate contacts. Businesses often rely on several outside entities such as vendors and suppliers in their day-to-day operations. In addition to employee’s contact information, employers should also know how to get ahold of their third-party affiliates to get their businesses back up and running as soon as it is safe.
- Keep a stock of non-perishable emergency supplies. When the weather forecasters issue a warning for an incoming hurricane, people flock to the stores for supplies. This can make it difficult to obtain much-needed items in the event employers and employees need to take shelter at the workplace. Some basic items to have on hand include:
- Batteries in varying sizes
- Candles and matches or lamps with gas
- First aid materials
- Plywood and heavy plastic sheeting for makeshift repairs
- Enough drinking water for everyone for three days
- Non-perishable food that doesn’t require cooking
- Basic tools
- Review insurance policies. Many insurers won’t update or issue policies when a hurricane is already on the horizon. Business owners need to make sure their coverage is solid well in advance of any threats. Taking the time to discuss coverage can identify areas of weakness and help business owners understand what their policy covers and what it does not.
Discovering a shortage of business insurance policies following a hurricane can be a death knell for some Florida businesses. Small Florida businesses in particular are vulnerable to prolonged business interruptions. Contact the experts at MMA Florida to learn how we can help protect your company.