It’s never too early to prepare for a hurricane. While you can’t predict when one will hit, you can take actions to help your business weather the storm.
Power outages are one of the most frustrating situations caused by a storm, especially if you have temperature-reliant products. Within a short period of time, you could lose your entire inventory. Help keep your business running during a power outage by following these tips on how to prepare your business for hurricane season.
Have an Emergency Action Plan
Whether you are in an area prone to hurricanes, floods, or other natural disasters, it is essential to have a plan in place that gives your employees guidance during emergency scenarios.
The first step in creating an effective emergency action plan is to ensure all employees know what the plan looks like and understand its purpose. This confirmation allows everyone can take appropriate actions during any crisis. The next step involves testing your emergency action plan periodically so that every team member knows how best to react during an actual disaster event. Finally, since conditions change over time (and sometimes very quickly), you should update your plan as necessary to remain relevant and up to date.
Backup Important Data
Another tip for preparing your business for hurricane season is to make sure you have a backup of all critical files and documents. These documents include copies of tax returns, accounting records, employee records (including W-2s), contracts, client lists, and so forth. Keep a copy of these crucial pieces of information off-site—ideally in a safe or in a secure cloud server. If the worst happens and your business becomes temporarily inaccessible from the storm’s effects, there will be copies safely available for those who need them.
A good starting point is to create a list of all your existing documents. The list should include:
- Financial records, including tax returns
- Business licenses and permits
- Insurance policies
- Contracts with vendors
Get an Emergency Generator
Generator usage is a method used to keep businesses operating during power outages. While generators can be a lifesaver to some companies, it is important to understand that they are not without risk. You must ensure that everyone is aware of how to use a generator safely and effectively.
You’ll need a high-quality emergency generator if there isn’t power available for an extended period. You can purchase a preowned generator to help offset the cost. Be sure to choose a model that can handle the power your establishment needs. Consider the amount of energy needed to run the freezers, coolers, servers, etc., for multiple days.
If you choose to add a generator to your business, emphasize to your staff that they shouldn’t ever run generators in enclosed spaces. Running a generator out in the open will help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, as exhaust fumes can build up in confined spaces and cause health problems when inhaled.