What Business Owners Need to do to Prepare for Hurricane Season
The Carolina Hurricanes aren’t the only hurricanes that are top of mind right now. We are heading into the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season that runs June 1 – November 30; and now is the time to begin preparing. Many think about preparing their homes, however now is the time to also think about preparing your business in case of severe storms.
There were a total of 15 storms last year including the devastating Hurricane Florence. As we look back at last year’s storms there are many lessons to be learned.
The number one lesson to be learned for businesses is that preparation and proactive planning limits loss and disruption. Below are 4 things to consider in preparation of the upcoming season:
Business Hurricane Preparedness Checklist:
- Call your insurance company in advance of the storm to understand the limits of your coverage and the processes involved in submitting a claim. Keep your insurance information and policy with you if you need to evacuate.
- Secure your physical property as thoroughly as possible. Consider investing in and installing shutters or plywood in order to protect windows and doors from wind borne-debris. Also, don’t forget about the roof of your building. Evaluate it to ensure that it can withstand the high winds of a storm.
If your building is in a flood prone area, place sandbags in any area of your building that might be subject to flooding. Internally, anchor and brace any large furniture (bookcases, shelves, filing cabinets) to wall studs, relocate any valuable or fragile possessions or inventory, secure electronics such as computers and other office equipment or relocate them to higher ground if possible to avoid water damage, and turn off all utilities prior to a hurricane making landfall.
- Put together a hurricane kit. Designate important contacts to save that are crucial to business operations, such as employees, banks, lawyers, accountants, suppliers, etc. Physical papers and documents should be sealed in waterproof containers.
Make sure you have the necessary supplies and equipment ready ahead of time should you become stranded at the office including battery-operated radio or television, first aid kit and first aid manual, flashlights, batteries, light-sticks, tool kits, camera and/or filming equipment for documenting any damages and taking inventory of per-hurricane status, whistle, signal flare, tarps, plastic bags, duct tape, cleaning supplies, fire extinguishers, electric generator, etc.
For a complete checklist, visit www.hurricanesafety.org
- Protect your digital assets. If you cannot remove your digital assets, have an ongoing backup plan so that if your assets are destroyed you can pull all of your data from an off-site storage location.You also should consider backing up all documents that are not easily produced such as insurance documents, legal contracts, tax returns, and accounting statements. Using a physical, cloud-based, and/or 4G connectivity back-up solution is ideal. Learn more about the 3.2.1 back up strategy.
This business checklist is a great starting point to prepare for a future event. Remember, being proactive all year around, having a plan of action, and a checklist is key to your business continuity. Be prepared! If you need more information or help in developing your digital security preparedness plan give us a call at The Tek.
FEMA Tele-registration hot-line: 1-800-462-9029
Small Business Administration (SBA): 1-800-359-2227
The Tek: 919-582-6212
Rick Miller is CVO and Partner of The Tek, providing Managed Services, Cybersecurity and Connectivity to businesses.. Rick is a long-term veteran in the IT industry. His success has been founded in propelling start-ups and turnarounds to success and profitability. His experience has helped to grow multiple companies from start-up to profitability.