Tropical storm Isaac announced the start of season most businesses hope to avoid. Weather is a two-edged sword for our beach economy. Just as every business needs a plan for the busy season, every business needs an Emergency Response Plan (ERP). Here are a few questions that should be included in everyone’s ERP.
1) Have you identified your EMT, emergency management team? Who will be on it and who will be responsible for which actions?
2) Do you have a plan to communicate with all your employees? Do they know it?
3) Does your plan tie actions to certain key “triggers” on a time phased basis? For example, if a storm enters the Gulf, you do this; when a storm reaches category x, you do this?
4) What is your plan for evacuation of office files and key documents?
5) Do you have a technology plan for getting data off your computer hard drives? Cloud computing, where documents are stored offsite, really makes sense for most businesses. The CLOUD was made for our storm clouds.
6) What is your facility preparedness plan? Do you have a contract in place for post event clean up and repair? Lack of this can cost you time and extra dollars.
7) Do you have a plan for contacting customers and suppliers regarding your situation?
8) Have made arrangements to insure your team can get back into your facility? Cities require certain passes that must be obtained in advance.
9) Have you checked your insurance coverages, deductibles and claims processing documentation requirements? Make sure you know what you need before you need it.
10) In the event of a facility loss, do you have an alternative plan of operation?
Having a plan that you never use may be the smartest move you make this season. And if you have one, make sure everyone knows it and you keep it on the cloud.