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How Ready is Your Business AFTER Tropical Storm Debby?

The best times to evaluate your business' emergency response plan are before an emergency and immediately after the emergency. Take action to identify and correct your deficiencies today.

The storm has passed and the flood waters have receded, which makes this the ideal time to evaluate your business’ emergency response plans.  Whether you are a severe weather veteran or this was your first bout with Mother Nature as a business manager, you witnessed how weather can drastically impact your business.  The good news is hurricane season is just getting started.  What?  Wait…how is that good news?  Because you now have an opportunity to be better prepared for the next storm.

Smart managers learn from watching others fail and TAKE ACTION to improve their own firms.  So look around you and consider if your business was better prepared or just luckier than those who businesses are suffering from this disaster.  Are you really ready for the next emergency?  Ask yourself:

1-Is our business located in an area where flooding is likely?

Your insurance carriers are well aware of the flood risks for your business, but are you?  Flood tables change based on land development and other factors.  So just because your area was safe previously does not mean you are safe today.  New Orleans faced this problem during Hurricane Katrina when thousands of businesses were destroyed yet many of them never suffered flood effects prior to Katrina.  

2-If our business suffered weather damage; can we continue serving our clients?

If your business suffers damage from severe weather, you will likely have to relocate for a period of time while repairs are made.  Facility interruptions can last from a few days to a many months.  Regardless of the time frame, you must have a plan that details how you can operate in the interim.  Can your employees work remotely from home or do you need to lease temporary office space?  Contracts for temporary facilities should be signed now to guarantee you get the terms you need at the cost you desire without becoming a victim of price gouging and bidding wars.

3-Is our data, equipment & inventory adequately protected from harmful weather?

Where is your server room located?  Where is your expensive equipment or inventory stored?  If these assets are currently housed on a ground floor, consider moving them to the 2nd floor (if available).  If a safe place doesn’t exist in your present facility, contract for storage space to relocate your most valuable assets prior to a storm.   However, these contingency plans must be made and practiced in advance so they don’t become more of a problem than a solution.   

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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