The damage caused by tropical storms and hurricanes can be devastating, but if there is a silver lining, these storms develop slowly and provide crucial advance warning. To maximize the time before the storm hits, here are the top five things you can do to prepare:
With sustained winds and torrential rain, protecting the safety of people and property is critical. Begin your plan with a safety checklist. Include specific actions that need to be taken at different times — 72, 48 and 24 hours — leading up to the storm. Be sure to include:
Inform all employees of the plan. Be sure to update all current contact information. Determine how you’re going to communicate and use multiple vehicles in case one line of communication is disabled. Test the system. Include response mechanism for staff to mark themselves accounted for and safe.
Designate individuals who will stay on-site during the storm. Release all nonessential staff after storm preparations are complete and safely before storm makes landfall. Follow any mandatory evacuation orders from local authorities.
Confirm chainsaws and generators are operational and stored off-site and fuel is available. Fill water coolers with fresh water. Have recovery materials staged and ready for return. Make arrangements with contractors or vendors before the storm to ensure rapid response for recovery.
Emergency preparedness training should be conducted for all employees on a regular basis to familiarize everyone with the plan. Prior to hurricane season, practice what to do in a real-life storm. Run-throughs can help identify any gaps or areas that need improvement.
Having a detailed action plan can help keep people safe and aid in the quick recovery for your course.
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