The 2020 hurricane season broke many records, and the 2021 forecast predicts that this season may be just as intense.

The region has experienced great devastation over the last several hurricane seasons.

In 2017, Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Gulf Coast. It displaced tens of thousands of people from their homes and killed over 100 people in Texas alone.

Steps you can take to prepare your business for hurricane season:

Create an evacuation plan

In the event that you and your employees must evacuate, prepare in advance and make a plan to ensure everyone’s safety.

Your plan should discuss:

  • Conditions that will activate the plan
  • Chain of command
  • Emergency functions and who will perform them
  • Specific evacuation procedures, including routes and exits
  • Procedures for accounting for personnel, customers, and visitors
  • Equipment for personnel

If your business requires an Emergency Action Plan (29 CFR 1910.38), make sure it is compliant and reflects your latest procedures.

Backup your data

In today’s world, most businesses rely on information technology. Protect your company’s data and regularly back up all files to a secure place.

In the event that severe weather results in damage to your technology on-site, your data will remain secure, current, and accessible.

Protect your property

Before a hurricane arrives, you can take measures to prepare your business and minimize damage.

You can:

  • Board up windows and doors to avoid damage from airborne debris
  • Lay sandbags or erect dikes in areas most likely to flood
  • Secure your utilities (heaters, gas tanks, etc.) and move them to higher ground if necessary
    • If possible, turn off your utilities before the hurricane makes landfall
  • Get equipment such as an Uninterrupted Power Supply, backup water source, and gasoline-powered pumps in case of power loss or flooding
Prepare for an alternative workplace

In case of a hurricane, prepare a plan for what happens if your site is damaged and temporarily unusable

  • Can you and your employees work from home? Is there a system in place in case you must exercise these options?
  • Is there a secondary location where you can work until your site is usable again?
  • Do you have a list of contractors in case there is a need for repairs?

Plan for several scenarios and be prepared so that your operations remain smooth and with little disruption.

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