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Hurricane season can be a scary time if you live and work somewhere that is prone to getting hit. If you own a business, you should do everything you can to prepare for the worst so that you are not caught off guard if disaster strikes. This business hurricane preparation checklist allows you to cover your bases and get your business in the best possible position to continue functioning when the storm passes. While you can’t prevent a natural disaster from striking, you can make sure that your business is as prepared as possible.

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Take Care of Your Staff
The most important concern in any storm is the safety of those affected, first and foremost. This means not only ensuring that if there is warning of an impending storm you do not elicit any unsafe behavior from your staff, but also that you share important information with your employees to help them make safe choices at home. The first item on any business hurricane preparation checklist should be the safety of staff.

Protect Your Most Important Assets
Once you have covered the lives involved with your business, it’s time to shift your focus to your possessions and information. Ensuring that your data is backed up externally, either at another location or with cloud backup, is a key part of hurricane preparedness for a business. If your building is not well suited for a storm but you have alternative options for storing sensitive or valuable work possessions, consider moving them before the storm arrives.

Have a Plan in Place
Natural disasters can get complicated very quickly, so you don’t want to be improvising in the middle of a hurricane. Instead, be sure to establish a plan prior to any storms arriving. Have a set of emergency supplies available at your place of business in the event of being stuck there. Develop procedures for notifying staff about closing. When you have a disaster plan on your business hurricane preparation checklist, it’s easier to stay calm in the middle of the event.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open
One of the biggest fears during a hurricane is getting cut off with no way to get in touch with those who you have to reach. That’s why it is so important to establish multiple different methods of communication in the event of an emergency. When the phones are down if you still have internet you can use email to communicate. A VOIP phone service allows you to make calls with only an internet connection. The more ways you have to communicate with your staff as well as emergency workers, the better.

Establish Work-From-Home Protocols
When a hurricane hits, there is the risk of long-term damage to your facility. Even if it withstands the storm, inclement weather can lead to several days where it is unsafe to try to get into work. Putting the development of a work-from-home protocol on your business hurricane preparation checklist allows you to minimize the impact of lost time at the office. When everyone knows what is expected of them and has access to the tools they need to work from home, you can maintain as close to business as usual as possible.

Make Sure You Are Covered
There is nothing more disheartening than showing up to your work building following a storm and discovering that it has seen massive damage. From structural issues to damage to your property or data, the costs of a storm can mount quickly. If you live in an area with a risk of hurricanes, you should ensure that you have the required insurance to mitigate your losses. This includes not only disaster coverage but additional coverage for lost work, damaged property and any other potential financial damages you may face.

Stay Flexible
No hurricane survival guide for small businesses can prepare you for every potential problem that might arise during a hurricane. Although the above tips will prepare you as best as you can be, it’s important to still expect the unexpected. You never know what a hurricane is going to bring, so you need to be willing to adapt when an unforeseen occurrence requires deviation from your original plan. Creating and following your business hurricane preparation checklist gives you a great foundation, and a cool head at the moment lets you build from there to make the most appropriate choices throughout the storm.