While it’s only the first week in June, the Atlantic has already seen its first named storm of the season – here’s looking at you, Arthur. The official Atlantic Hurricane Season runs June 1- November 30, and forecasters are predicting a busy 2020 season with 13-19 named storms expected, and 6-10 major hurricanes according to the Climate Prediction Center at National Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
While not a coastal city, Richmond still is at risk during hurricanes due to flooding, winds, and the potential for tornadoes – as evidenced in fall of 2018 when seven tornadoes hit the Richmond region in a single day following Hurricane Florence.
As a business owner or manager, it’s important to have a thorough plan in place should the worst-case scenario strike. Below is a checklist to help get you started on creating a plan.
BUSINESS CHECKLIST FOR HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS
❒ Document employee responsibilities and roles before a hurricane strikes and review with each employee. Empower certain employees to make key decisions if needed.
❒ Review your insurance policy and familiarize yourself with your coverage. Make sure that you have your insurance agent’s contact information. Explore purchasing a flood insurance policy for your business. Remember, most standard policies do not provide coverage for flood damage.
❒ Create a list of critical things that need to happen in order to keep your business open such as generators, lighting, customer communication, how to access accurate weather information, etc. Contact your vendors to understand their preparedness plans and how a disaster will impact your supply chain.
❒ Conduct a drill to ensure staff members comprehend their roles and test your emergency plans. Follow up with an after-action report and lessons-learned session.
❒ Ensure vital records are protected: analyze your off-site backup record storage, place valuable documentation and digital storage media in a waterproof, fireproof box.
In the event of an emergency situation:
❒ Move computers and other Information Technology (IT) systems away from large windows and doors.
❒ Relocate valuables and IT systems to the upper level of your facility or to a more secure location if needed.
KNOW YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT CONTACTS
Identify and save the emergency contacts for your community should you need the information in the future. These contacts can also assist in providing planning tools to guide you through the emergency planning process. Find your local contacts here.