Are you prepared for a hurricane? If not, you need to be. With extreme weather events on the rise, it is more important than ever for businesses to have a plan in place to protect their offices and employees. A major hurricane can cause serious damage to your business, leading to lost revenue and even forced closure. But by taking the right steps beforehand, you can minimize the risk of damage and keep your business up and running. In this blog post, we will discuss the best ways to prepare for the worst and to protect your business from hurricanes.
Test The Building For Weak Spots
The first step in preparing for a hurricane is to test your building for weak spots. Inspect the roof, windows, and doors for any damage or vulnerabilities that could be exploited in a storm. If there are any loose windows or gaps in the roof, water will leak in and the hurricane will cause a lot more damage.
It is particularly important that you check that the building is watertight before hurricane season hits. Invest in cwct water testing, which involves using high-pressure bursts of water to stress-test the building and identify any leaks around the cladding, windows, and doors. These can be fixed right away before a storm hits and water starts pouring into the building.
By testing the building for weak spots on a regular basis, you can keep up with preventative maintenance and make sure that you are prepared when a storm hits.
Consider Relocating From Danger Areas
If your office is in a danger area for hurricanes, you may want to consider relocating. There are certain areas of the country that are more prone to hurricanes, and if your office is in one of these areas, it is at a higher risk for damage. You are also more prone to problems with flooding if your office is in a low-lying area at the bottom of a hill.
Preparing for hurricanes and dealing with the damage afterwards is expensive and causes a lot of disruption to your business. If it is a rare occurrence, it’s manageable, but if extreme weather is a constant problem, that is not financially viable. You may be able to save a lot of money by relocating to a new office space.
Changing your office space also gives you an opportunity to modernise the way that you work. The office setup is changing a lot in the post-COVID world and remote working is becoming the norm. Downgrading to a smaller office space will save money on overheads and it’s also easier to protect a small space from hurricanes.
Create A Disaster Supply Kit
One of the most important things you can do to protect your business from a hurricane is to create a disaster supply kit. This kit should include everything you need in case of an emergency, such as food, water, batteries, and first-aid supplies. It’s also important to have a plan for what you will do if the power goes out or the internet is down
Your disaster kit should include:
– Radio: battery-powered or hand crank
– Extra batteries
– First Aid kit
Many of these items will only be necessary in a worst-case scenario, but it’s important that you have supplies ready, just in case things get bad. There is always a chance that you will be hit by an unexpected storm, and you need to make sure that everybody is safe.
If water does leak into your office, your computers could get damaged. All of the important files on the computers will be lost and if you don’t have backups, this leaves you in a very difficult position. You will have to start from scratch and rebuild your business. Notifying customers that you have lost all of their data will severely damage trust and many of them will not come back to you again.
You can backup your data on the cloud so it is completely safe in the event of a hurricane. Offline backups are a good option too, as they are not reliant on third-party companies to manage your data. Make sure that you have at least two backup copies of all your important files and keep them in different locations. That way, if one location is damaged by a hurricane, you still have access to your data.
You also need to create a system for restoring the data. Once the hurricane is over and the damage has been assessed, you need to get the business back up and running again as quickly as possible. Test your backup and restoration procedures regularly so that you know they will work when you need them.
Have A Plan In Place
Preparation is key if you want to limit the damage caused by hurricanes and get your business back on its feet again in no time. It’s important that you have a clear plan before, during, and after the storm.
Before The Hurricane
If you know that a storm is coming, there are some simple steps you can take to prepare and limit the damage. Using plastic sheets to cover furniture and computers can help to protect them from water damage. If there is a chance that the building may flood, move all of your important equipment to higher ground.
You should also consider anchoring large pieces of furniture to the floor and moving out any valuables that are easy to transport. Switch off all of the electricity and water mains before the storm hits too. Finally, check the perimeter of the building and look for any loose branches on trees or other debris that will damage the office if it gets picked up in the wind.
If you have employees who are unable to work from home, make sure that you have a plan in place for them. This might include setting up a temporary office or finding somewhere else for them to work.
Double-check all of your data backups and make sure that all of your employees understand what will happen during the storm. If you know that the business will be closed or you will be working with limited staff, you need to inform customers too, so they are aware of any changes to the service they receive.
During The Storm
If you are in the path of a hurricane, it is important to stay safe. It’s best to shut the office down and have everybody work from home, if possible. Make sure that you maintain good contact with everybody in the company, so you know what is happening.
Keep a close eye on the weather and monitor the situation until the storm has passed. During this stage, you can start making preparations to open the business again.
After The Hurricane
It’s not all about knowing how to protect your business from hurricanes. Once the storm has passed, it is time to start assessing the damage. This may take some time, so be patient and don’t try to rush things. If you have insurance, make sure that you contact them as soon as possible. You’ll need to take plenty of photographs to show the insurance company too, so do this before you start repairing anything. Hopefully, if you have prepared well, the damage shouldn’t be too extensive.
Work out what the damage is and then call the necessary people to fix it. That could be water damage restoration companies as well as electricians, plumbers, or window repair companies. The faster you can arrange things, the faster you can get the business running as normal again.
Once the building itself is in good shape again, you can start bringing people back into the office. At this stage, check all of the computers to make sure that they haven’t been damaged. If they have and data has been lost, start the process of recovering it. If there are files that cannot be recovered, it is important that you contact customers to inform them right away.
Prepare For Business Closures
Sometimes, the damage will only be minor and things will get back to normal in a few days. But if the storm is particularly bad, you might be dealing with a long-term business closure while things are repaired. It’s vital that you already have a plan in place. This way you can move seamlessly into your new setup without too much disruption to the business.
Being set up for remote working makes things much easier, but you should also think about alternative office spaces. If you have employees who can’t work from home, you may need to look into coworking spaces, for example.
Make sure that all of your communication channels are still open and working properly. This is especially important for customers, as they will want to know what is happening with their orders or account status. It’s best to be upfront if there are going to be delays due to a business closure.
A hurricane can be a major disaster for a business. However, if you are prepared, it doesn’t have to be. You can’t usually avoid damage altogether but you can keep yourself and your employees safe. Make sure that you follow the advice in this guide and your business will be much less likely to suffer serious damage.