|As the saying goes, chance favors the prepared mind, or in this case, the prepared business. Louisianians learned first-hand last year that advance planning is a hurricane season imperative. One month into the 2006 Hurricane Season, businesses should ensure that they have taken necessary steps to protect their employees and their operations.
Advance planning can help businesses secure property, commerce and enable them to release or evacuate employees sooner in the event of an emergency. Louisiana Economic Development recommends the following hurricane season checklist.
Develop a Plan
- Develop an emergency plan and procedures to address the potential hazards that could impact your business.
- Review all existing plans and procedures to determine whether all plans are in agreement.
- Identify your companys most critical business processes and take steps to protect them.
- Determine the financial and operational impact if your business must shut down for a day, a week, or an entire revenue period. Is this impact minor or catastrophic?
- Establish an emergency plan with your suppliers.
- Establish temporary relocation contingencies.
- Determine if the business is adequately insured.
- Create a Business Go Box and determine what vital items should be included, such as:
- Insurance information
- Bank information: check books, account numbers, etc.
- Client contact list
- Employee contact list
- Vendor contact list
- Computer back-ups
- Customer files, charts, etc.
Secure Property and Assets
- Take necessary steps to protect your building, equipment and other assets.
- Establish a procedure for creating computer back-ups of all vital records.
- Perform an assessment of short-term impacts vs. permanent impacts.
- If your business is located in a multi-tenant building, coordinate with your building managements emergency plans.
Establish a Communication Protocol
- Establish procedures for your employees to report their whereabouts and status.
- Establish procedures to communicate with customers/clients following the emergency.