With summer storm season here, it pays to be prepared for worst-case weather scenarios that can interrupt your business. A formal plan for protecting your business from severe weather is key to ensuring that your business gets back up and running quickly.
Most importantly, it can help to keep your employees safe.
But where do you start? Here are some tips for creating a plan.
Step 1: Plan ahead so you’re not behind.
- Keep employee contact information up to date.
- Designate an employee(s) to oversee the preparation of your facility before the storm.
- Review your plan protocols with all employees regularly and upon impending weather events.
- Maintain emergency systems in working order (fire alarms, sprinklers, security, etc.).
Step 2: Evaluate and document your workplace’s critical safety and operations aspects.
- The number of employees and how to contact them.
- The number of buildings, square footage, and the building addresses.
- A map, drawing, or layout of your workspace and work site.
- List of operations and equipment that could be damaged by storm impact.
- The type of emergency systems/resources you have in place and associated contacts.
- Sources and related contacts for the facility, operation, equipment repair and replacement, and parts.
Step 3: Determine what needs to be done BEFORE an impending weather event.
- List the tasks that need to be completed to secure your employees.
- List the necessary tasks to secure your building(s) and equipment.
- Review Step 2 to ensure you consider all aspects of your business.
- Assign every task on the list to an employee.
Step 4: Determine what needs to be done AFTER the weather event.
- Designate an employee who will ensure every employee is safe.
- Designate an employee(s) who will, when safe, assess damage to operations and equipment.
- Prioritize the list of operations and equipment to restore to enable fast decision-making after the storm.
Step 5: Maintain the plan.
- Designate an employee(s) to keep the emergency plan documents at the ready.
- Regularly review your emergency plan to keep it up to date.
- Include your employees in the planning and ask for their input—often, employees have unique perspectives on potential hazards or worst-case scenarios.
- Keep a copy of your plan where it can be easily accessed and give a copy to your employees.
- Have regular conversations with employees throughout storm season to ensure everyone is prepared.
A good plan can ease confusion and keep employees informed—and creating a plan is not hard. Download a sample storm plan here.