The Atlantic hurricane season is June to November, with the peak season being from mid-August to late October. According to The Electrical Safety Foundation International, there are on average six hurricanes a year with three of them being categorized as “major.” It is important to not only prepare yourself for these situations but your business as well. Without proper preparation, a hurricane could be the end of your business. Use these tips to protect your employees and business assets if the time comes. And remember, your phones might not be on, but ours always are!
- Purchase Emergency Supplies for the Office – Much like how you prepare your family and home for a hurricane, you should do the same at your office. If severe weather hits and you are not able to leave, you want to have emergency supplies on-hand. Ready.gov has great information on “Build A Kits”. It gives you a checklist of all the emergency items you could need including one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight, first aid kit, extra batteries, whistle to signal for help, dust mask, moist towelettes, garbage bags, wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, blankets, pillows, a generator, and a cell phone with chargers and a backup battery. You can view the full list and get more details on assembling your kit at Ready.gov.
- Create an Evacuation Plan – You should have a plan in place to protect your employees if there is an impending hurricane. The plan should be practiced and memorized by everyone at your company. Your plan should include:
- Specific evacuation routes
- A designated meeting point
- Procedures for helping those that have special needs or disabilities
- Expectations for each employee including shutting down operations, if that becomes necessary
- Have an IT Disaster Recovery Plan in Place – It is important for you to be able to continue business after disaster strikes. If your computers or servers are damaged and they have not been backed up, you may not be able to get this information back. Make sure your servers and computers are regularly backed up. Visit Ready.gov for more tips on creating your IT Disaster Recovery Plan.
- Make Sure All Employees Know Your Business Continuity Plan – When business is disrupted, you lose money. Ensure that your employees know what to do even if the office is going to be closed for a few days or weeks. Ready.gov suggests doing a business impact analysis to identify time-sensitive or critical business functions. From there, organize a business continuity plan and conduct training for your employees that tests them on recovery strategies. You can learn more at Ready.gov.
- Have Someone to Field Your Incoming Calls – If your phone lines are going to be down for days or even weeks, you want to have a way for your customers to still be able to contact you and receive information from you. That is where we come in. Call us today for a free consultation at 1-800-275-0303 to learn more about how our virtual receptionists can help you not only when there is bad weather, but 24/7.