The month of June marks the beginning of hurricane season. In living on the Gulf Coast, your business should be prepared in the case a hurricane should strike.
“Having a plan for your business during hurricane season is a must this time of year,” said Norman Wright, president and CEO of your BBB serving northwest Florida. “You always want to have a plan on how your business is going to function in the aftermath of a disaster. Making a plan now can determine how your business will recover from a disaster.”
To help prepare your business before an actual storm threatens the area, your BBB offers advice to keeping your business in business:
- Determine alternate locations for your business to operate if you are displaced from your current building. This could mean enabling employees to work from home or finding an alternate location for your office.
- Identify essential staff who are core to the operations of the business and keep a list of their phone numbers (home, work, pager, cell) and e-mail addresses that can be accessed by employees from several locations (home, Internet, etc.).
- Devise an emergency communications plan that outlines how your business will communicate with employees, customers, vendors and other key external contacts in the days following a disaster.
- Contact vendors/suppliers to confirm their emergency response plan procedures. Be prepared to use alternate vendors for essential supplies and equipment. Have your back-up equipment kept in good working condition.
- Have an up-to-date inventory of your assets. Review your insurance policies to ensure that you have adequate coverage for items you cannot afford to lose. A standard policy may not cover business interruption losses.
- Keep duplicates of personnel, payroll, payables and receivables and other essential records at an off-site location. Regularly make back-up copies of important computer files.
- Establish a succession of management for the company. Determine who will manage the company if key leaders are unavailable.
For additional information on hurricane preparedness and advice you can trust, start with bbb.org.