You can reduce the effects of a natural disaster to your business by knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take. Developing a written disaster preparedness plan, and training employees to implement it, is critical. Also, compile an emergency contact list with 24-hour telephone contact numbers.
Identify vital records and back up copies or transfer them to a CD. Identify a safe storage area within the facility where records can be relocated, if necessary. Consider moving vital records off-site.
Determine responsibility for maintaining the facility. Ensure that the following items are addressed:
- Inventory and repair hurricane/storm shutters, patch roofs, and caulk windows.
- Check security and flood lighting.
- Identify and secure items that may be blown around.
- Identify emergency power requirements and determine if a generator needs to be purchased or rented. Test generator monthly during peak season.
- Determine computer support for employees who need to remain operational during a natural disaster.
- Verify communications equipment is operational.
- Determine emergency supplies necessary. All emergency supplies should be clearly marked and stored in an area accessible in an emergency.
- Prepare a list of vendors critical to your daily operations and their telephone numbers.
INFO: For more on preparing for hurricanes and other disasters, check out the Disaster Preparation and Response resource center.