Preparing your business for a hurricane will help you reduce any potential damage, make it easier to return to business after the storm and help you focus on your personal and family needs.
The No. 1 priority in preparing for a hurricane, tropical storm or any other potential disaster is to make sure you and your family are safe. Business owners also have an obligation to make sure their employees are safe.
You need to give yourself and your employees enough time to prepare for the storm but you also have an obligation to your customers and clients. Depending on your business, weighing the needs of customers and clients versus your own needs and that of employees can be difficult.
If your business installs hurricane shutters, for example, your business helps keep others safe. If you own a hardware store, people need to buy supplies at your store.
However, there comes a point when a business owner needs to look after their own business, their employees and their families. People who wait until the last minute to prepare know they may be out of luck.
There are many steps you can take to help prepare your business for a hurricane, and help others as they prepare.
Tips for preparing your business for a hurricane
Communication is key. You need to let customers, clients, patients, vendors and anyone else you work with what your plans are. When will you close, what hours will you be open, are you running low on supplies and other important information needs to be communicated.
You don’t want people expecting services or products that don’t get delivered or aren’t available because you forgot to tell someone. Tell people if your services have been impacted and how.
Use all methods of communication at your disposal. You never know what people will be able to access during and after a storm. Post information to all your social media accounts, your website, Google My Business and enewsletters or eblasts. Use text message programs and your company’s app, if available.
Keep the information as current and relevant as possible. Things change rapidly with storms so make sure you make the necessary updates.
In addition to communicating with customers, make sure you are communicating with your employees as well.
We’ve focused on communicating business information with customers and employees because it’s an important part of preparing for a storm and the recovery process after the storm passes. Customers and employees need to know how the business is impacted.
Don’t overlook the communication piece and make sure you follow other important business preparation checklists. Business owners need to do all they can to protect people, property, data, information and assets.