Storm Season and Emergency Preparedness (Part 1 of 2)

 I am born and raised in a state (Florida) which has had it share of emergencies – tornados, hurricanes, wildfires etc. These are the lessons that my clients and I have learned.

- Minimum three contact methods of all employees – phone, cell, email and of course, physical location – one would go by their house to check on them

- Emergency cash is essential – $300 for each employee – to be paid back later.

- Generators are great in certain situations such as IT operations

- Designate a rally point or meeting place outside of a building or in a location so as to count missing persons.

- Back up computer systems are best if located another state. (I use Carbonite)

- Have syncing software that will keep laptops current with desktops. Laptops are much easier to use after a storm with Broadband capability and electrical charging via truck / car.

- Cars / trucks have electrical generating power for cell phones, laptops etc. make sure they have the adapter plug ins to be used.

- Batteries kept in their wrappers until needed in flash lights.

- Take pictures of all work completed before storm hits for any potential insurance claims.

- Get statistical data from your insurance company about weather related delays. Have this at the ready in case the client starts claims for delay after the storm.

- Wind and Flood are two different damages – know the difference in your insurance policy and adjust accordingly.

- People  (your employees) will take unneccesary risks for their pets – consider sheltering them in your building.

- Run practice drills once a year during early storm season.

- Check on emergency rental rates for area hotels – some offer greatly reduced rates during after a storm. During 2004’s Hurricane Charley, my daughter and I stayed at the Rosen Hotel – Orlando for $42 a night for 8 days. In hindsight, it was a very lucky we did some planning.

- Better to have a higher deductible and a higher maximum coverage than a lower deductible and a lower maximum coverage.

- Most insurance claims needing a contractor quote. Think about charging for quotes after a storm. Others have done so and homeowners / building owners don’t object as long as you tell them upfront.

- Major throughways will be the first for electrical power to be re-energized – make your first meeting option or makeshift office on / close to a major boulevard.