eye of the storm seen from space during hurricane seasonOnce again hurricane season is coming fast and symposiums have started teaching lessons learned from years past. All country and local officials are dusting off the hurricane plans to start looking, planning and communicating with other professionals who can provide supplies or efforts to bring recovery actions back to normal quickly. As business owners, you have to ask yourself what are you doing to plan and communicate with others to look after your employees, your family and return your business to a normal operation. Do you know your business operations well enough to complete the checklist yourself or do you need your employees’ help? The sooner you start planning for the storm, the quicker you will realize it’s a plan that’s added to or changed weekly.

Check Online Resources

The state, county, local emergency management officials and other business representatives stand ready to help in time of need. The business owner needs to be proactive completing before, during and after event planning checklists in order to include all concerns and risks to mitigate them as much as possible. There are several online resources published by emergency management agencies that include different checklists depending on the size of your business and the level of planning you want/need to complete. Most include a power source for after the event to power small items as radios to larger items such as coolers, refrigerators, and fans. The lists include individual items and amounts like a gallon of water a day per person. As a business, do you know if your credit card machine will work or you will operate only on cash?

Annually collected information provides us with an ugly statistic; disasters that cause disruption for businesses cause 1 in 4 companies to stay closed and to never open again. Will you have completed the planning sufficiently enough? Are recovery options included in your hurricane season plan? Can you open the doors and provide enough resources to stay open for you, your employees and the local community? This may include power for electricity, the ability to keep items cool/cold and maybe provide your community a way to stay in touch with family.

Helping the Community as a Whole

Our company here in Florida used our resources to keep the power on for our customers to make orders, allow us to communicate to our employees and provide our employees and their families a cool dry place while keeping our business doors open. This was a huge relief for our employees and our customers during last hurricane season.

As our businesses move forward into a socially responsible world community, will our community expect more from businesses who can help? Imagine the community store able to provide plugs for people to charge their cell phones or portable chargers. What if a community store could provide a cool environment to shop in? Would more customers shop there after the storm and would that store be a favorite after the event leaves primetime news? These are issues that checklists and communicating with employees and community members help you with.