With the recent natural disasters that have occurred across the U.S., it is never too late to be prepared. If your business has survived the latest natural disaster it is time to ensure that you are ready for the next one. Here is a list of 7 helpful tips:
1) Plan your emergency response
2) Work with local government officials in advance
3) Maintain emergency equipment
4) Secure data and files
5) Patrol the facility during the emergency
6) Reinforce workplace safety
7) Inspect safety equipment and controls
You should be thinking about every day conditions in your workplace. These tips are a good start.
But also, simple measures taken before a disaster strikes may help you protect your business, life and property. Here is a sample from FEMA of some the actions a person can take to protect themselves and their property:
- Develop and rehearse a family disaster plan—what to do if you are forced to leave home.
- Include a communications plan—how to contact each other if you become separated.
- When severe weather threatens, turn on your radio to a local station to stay informed of imminent danger.
- Put together emergency supplies, one set for your house and one for you car. Emergency kits should include food, water, a first aid kit, flashlights, a radio, and plenty of batteries. The kit in your car should also have flares and jumper cables.
- Know how to turn off your utilities, and keep the necessary tools at hand. Make sure other members of your family know how to do this also. If you turned off your gas, do not turn it back on yourself. Call the gas company.
- Make copies of vital documents, such as wills, birth certificates, financial records, insurance policies and credit card numbers. Keep the originals in a safe deposit box.
- Make a detailed inventory of your personal belongings, home or an apartment, garage and surrounding property, with photographs or videotape. Store it in a safe place.
Sometimes living in an area where natural disasters are more frequent than other areas, will help determine what preventative measures to take to prepare yourself for the next natural disaster. For example, when living in an area subject to flooding, the following steps can be taken to help protect a home from the next flood:
- Elevate the furnace, water heater and electrical panels in the home.
- Install “check valves” in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the home.
- Purchase flood insurance to protect your financial future. Typical homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding losses.
- Construct protection barriers to stop floodwater from entering the home.
- Find out where your community stores and distributes sandbags and how to use them.
- Develop a flood response plan based on your flood protection level, local warning procedures, and the amount of warning time you will have to respond before the flood comes.
- Be prepared to care for your animals in the event of an evacuation.
- Know and rehearse your evacuation route.
If you are thinking about flood insurance, here are some basic facts to consider:
A storm or hurricane may cause significant flooding. The term "100-year flood" does not mean a flood occurs once every hundred years. One should not base their decision to buy flood insurance on the false belief of a flood occurs "once every hundred years".
The reality is scientists create a history of an area with frequency analysis and statistical probability. The longer the record and history, the better and more accurate the predictions. "They look at the frequency of different size floods and the average number of years between them to develop the probability of a given size flood in a particular year."
Everything is taken into consideration, rain volume, the condition of the ground before the rain starts, how a river basin is altered such that it affects the flow of water, including the dams and levees in near by areas.
There are a lot of preventative measures you can take to prepare yourself for the next natural disaster, but to save yourself from significant financial hardship or worse, speak to an insurance agent to learn the advantages and different coverage that are offered for fire, flood and natural disasters.
Resource: "The truth about 100-year floods"