Steps to prepare businesses for hurricane season

Is your business hurricane ready!  Here are a few tips.

1. Think about your employees!

Make sure they understand what is expected of them regarding work in the event of a storm.  Should they report to work, work from home, wait for contact from you?  Make a plan!

Accurate contact information is one of the most important components of any business operation, and it is even more critical in an emergency. Knowing how to reach your employees and vendors is a vital part of helping your business to quickly recover from a disaster.

  • Send a memo to your employees asking them to update their contact information. This will help you to check on their wellbeing and share the next steps for resuming normal business operations.
  • Update your supplier and vendor contact information, as well as other important contacts such as your bank or insurance carriers.

2. Update critical business functions

The OFB-EZ™ Open for Business® program offered by IBHS includes forms that can help you to prioritize which business functions are most critical for continuing operations in an emergency situation. Critical business functions can change from year to year. Review your existing disaster plan to account for any changes, such as the addition of new business systems, products and employees.

Here are some questions to get you started:

1. How much downtime can my business tolerate without a significant financial impact?
2. Which functions are necessary in order to fulfill legal or regulatory obligations?
3. What business functions are essential for maintaining market share and reputation?

Be sure to prioritize each function (high, medium or low) and determine who among your staff is responsible. Record detailed notes outlining the steps that should be taken in common disaster scenarios, such as power outages, damage to equipment or natural disasters.

Work with your employees so that they fully understand the procedures for recovering the critical business functions. Name an alternate employee to take charge should the primary employee be unavailable to perform the function. Advance planning will help everyone recognize their responsibilities.

3. Prepare your recovery location

If your plans include the use of a recovery location – an alternative site for business operations – take time to review your needs to be certain the location is still adequate. Be sure the location is equipped with any special supplies or equipment that will be needed to continue business operations.

It is also a good idea to contact the recovery location provider before the season starts, so that you can review your plans and ensure that your requirements are still being met.

AmTrust supports the efforts of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) in helping to protect your business and employees before, during and after a hurricane.

View the 2018 IBHS Hurricane Season Communication Resources.

IBHS is a non-profit applied research and communications organization dedicated to reducing property losses due to natural and man-made disasters by building stronger, more resilient communities.

You might not need a recovery location.  You may be able to work from home.  Do you have the supplies and equipment at home to perform necessary duties in the event your location is not accessible.

To stay up-to-date on severe storms, make sure you have weather alert apps loaded on your smartphone. Here are some that we found useful:

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