As Hurricane Dorian threatens Florida’s east coast, many business owners are scrambling to protect their employees, property, and data. Some experts are predicting that Dorian could make landfall as a category 4 hurricane—the strongest hurricane to hit Florida’s east coast since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. This also represents the fourth year in a row that Florida has felt the wrath of hurricanes, which is the most number of years back-to-back since the 1940s.
Another disturbing fact Florida businesses need to keep in mind is that one in four businesses that close due to a natural disaster never reopen. This threat is even greater for small businesses as their damaged building may be their only location. With no incoming funds, remaining operational can become insurmountable. This is why it’s vital for Florida businesses to take steps to protect their assets prior to a hurricane making landfall.
Business owners should take the following steps to be at maximum readiness for hurricanes:
- Building inspection. While it’s too late to make any structural changes ahead of Hurricane Dorian, it’s worth going over building structures to identify areas of weakness. If a Florida business doesn’t have wind and debris resistant windows, they need to make sure they board them up before the storm. This can prevent flying debris from creating holes in windows, which can allow water to get inside and cause considerable damage.
- Review business continuity plans. Many businesses are ready to resume operations well before their buildings are able to house employees again. Having a plan in place can allow businesses to continue such as allowing employees to work from home.
- Remind employees of the continuity plan. Businesses should make sure employees know how to remain in communication with their employers and what is expected of them after the threat of the storm passes. This includes payroll procedures, start-up processes, and knowing which personnel are vital to resuming business operations.
- Test all backup and safety equipment. If employers plan to rely on generators and other equipment to resume business operations, they need to make sure they’re in good working order and have a stable fuel supply. The first few days after a hurricane is not the time to discover a generator is out of order or doesn’t have enough fuel.
- Take measures to protect property and equipment. Simple measures such as bringing outdoor furniture inside, installing flood protection like sandbags, and elevating low-lying equipment so it’s not on the ground can reduce the amount of damage a hurricane does to a business’ property and equipment.
MMA Florida knows the difficulties and challenges business owners face during hurricane season. With Hurricane Dorian rapidly approaching, the storm is a reminder that businesses need to have a hurricane preparedness plan in place. Contact the experts at MMA Florida to learn how we can help your business prepare for future hurricanes.