Business Hurricane Preparedness
As we are approaching the heart of hurricane season here in south Mississippi, a lot of businesses may be wondering what they should do to be prepared. Here are a few tips that may be helpful:
Step 1: Protect your physical property.
- If you are close to the water, try to invest in and install shutters or plywood in order to protect windows and doors from wind borne-debris.
- Have the roof of your building inspected to ensure it can withstand a storm. If there are any repairs that need to be made, make them ahead of time.
- Inspect the area around your building and remove any branches or trees near to your building that could potentially fall and damage it.
- Secure any large furniture (bookcases, shelves, filing cabinets) to wall studs.
- Relocate any valuable or fragile possessions.
- Secure all utilities including water heaters, gas tanks, and heaters and if necessary, raise them to higher locations to avoid water damages.
- Secure electronics such as computers and other office equipment with straps or Velcro.
- Turn off all the utilities prior to a hurricane making landfall if possible.
Step 2: Protect important documents and information
- Designate important contacts to save that are crucial to business operations, such as employees, banks, lawyers, accountants, suppliers, etc.
- Back-up documents that are not easily produced such as insurance documents, legal contracts, tax returns, and accounting statements to avoid water damage.
- Seal these documents in waterproof containers onsite.
- Save all your designated contacts and documents in an alternate, accessible off-site location.
Step 3: Keep A Preparedness Checklist
The below items should be gathered in one location at your place of business should a storm hit while you are on premises. This will help protect the safety of your employees should disaster strike during regular working hours and without ample notice.
- Battery operated radio or television
- Non-perishable three day food supply for you and your employees
- Three day supply of water for you and your employees (One gallon of water per person, per day)
- Coolers and containers for water and washing
- Blankets, pillows, cots, and chairs
- First Aid Kit and first aid manual
- Flashlights, batteries, light-sticks
- Tool kit (basic tools, gloves, etc.)
- Camera and film for documenting damages
- Whistle/signal flare to signal for help
- Tarps, plastic bags, duct tape
- Cleaning supplies, including mops, towels and garbage cans
- Smoke alarms and fire extinguishers
- Electric generator
- Gas for vehicles, generators and other equipment
- Cash, ATM cards, credit cards proper identification
- Emergency contact information such as the nearest hospital and police.