The beginning of May marks National Hurricane Awareness Week, and this year the annual recognition — which aims to help individuals and businesses prepare for June’s hurricane season — is especially important. Experts are predicting an “above average” hurricane season for 2022, brought on by changes to sea levels and temperatures and fluctuations in the direction of wind, among other conditions.
As we approach hurricane season, now is the time to familiarize yourself with safety protocols for your business, especially if you are in a region that is likely to experience hurricane-related weather. Our website offers a library of resources about hurricane preparedness and response (click here). You can also download our Hurricane Preparedness Emergency Kit!
Consider the following steps your business should take to ensure you are prepared for a hurricane:
Plan & Coordinate
- Establish a Hurricane Operations team at your business and be prepared to meet regularly
- Create an emergency contact list, including phone numbers to reach all current employees
- Ensure vital records and computer files are backed up and stored in a safe place onsite and offsite
- Review your property insurance policy with your agent to verify you have the right coverage
- Keep work vehicles serviced and fueled. Find a secure place to store them if conditions arise
- Schedule regular drills to inform staff of the proper procedures in the event of a hurricane
Communicate & Monitor
- Consistently follow news, guidelines and updates from the National Hurricane Center
- Develop an emergency response plan and business continuity plan to outline hurricane responses and recovery strategies to maintain the continuity of services should you be affected by a hurricane
- Devise a communications plan to deliver vital information to employees, partners and customers
- Designate key staff members and a communications tree to share updates and protocols
- Confirm that your staff is aware of the plans, what role they play and the expectations you have
Prep & Prepare
- Keep emergency equipment and supplies on-hand at your business property, including heavy plastic sheeting, plywood, masking tape, sandbags, a generator, and hand tools
- Store a three-day supply of drinking water in plastic containers. Allocate enough for at least one gallon of water per person, per day
- Stock a three-day supply of non-perishable food, such as canned food and beverages, dried fruit, nuts, peanut butter, and granola bars
- Ensure you have comprehensive first aid kits available and stored in airtight bags or containers
- Assemble other potential necessities, such as paper cups, plastic utensils, garbage bags, soap, disinfectant, liquid detergent, battery-operated radio and new batteries, and flashlights
For more information on Hurricane Preparedness Week and for additional safety tips and resources, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Learn More: Prepare for Hurricane Season.