If your business is in the projected path of a hurricane, you need to act quickly to protect your people and your property.
Steps you take now can go a long way toward keeping people safe and minimizing damage:
And do not forget to tie down - or move inside - any items outside your building that could blow away in a powerful windstorm. Benches, chairs, plant urns, signs or potted flowers could become flying debris and cause substantial damage.
An action plan for hurricane recovery
Once the winds have died down utilize your employee call list to make sure they and their families are safe and secure. Assemble a recovery team to begin getting your business back on its feet.
Who should be on your recovery team? Include people qualified to repair electrical, mechanical, plumbing and fire protection systems, as well as general maintenance people for cleanup. The team leader should make sure the team has cleanup supplies and any necessary replacement parts and equipment.
The team leader should assess the damage and develop an action plan that addresses priorities such as:
Here is what your recovery team should do:
In addition, your team will need to assess and repair fire protection equipment, security alarms and sprinkler systems and notify the fire department if any of those systems will be out of service.
Be extra careful during electrical restoration, and make sure an electrician has checked and dried all systems and equipment before energizing electrical circuits. Take care around damaged power cables.
All mechanical equipment and systems should be checked for leaks or damage and cleaned and dried, as needed. Any wet insulation should be stripped and restored. Be sure to test your water supply for possible contamination, as well.
Maintain adequate security by performing a continual fire watch until normal operations can resume. Provide your employees with portable radios or cell phones and instruct them how to contact emergency response units.
Finally, keep your employees informed about any unsafe conditions and keep them updated on the progress of salvage operations.