20 Jul Planning and Preparedness: Getting your organization and staff ready for Hurricane Season in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico shouldn’t be surprised by the prospect of a Hurricane in 2020, which is why companies of all sizes should team up with experts in preparedness to better plan their safety protocols, including managing the project of staff readiness. You can better manage weather-related risks by better understanding the many concerns associated with such a threat, planning ahead, and training your staff. Every susceptible organization should develop a hurricane preparedness and response plan customized to its unique needs, location, construction, operations, and resources. Here are some important ways to help businesses in the planning process:
- Review property insurance with the company’s insurance agent concerning the hazards of a hurricane. Make sure you understand what is not covered. Most policies don’t cover flood damage. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides coverage to property owners. Go to the NFIP Website at floodsmart.gov. Also, consider business interruption insurance. It covers operating expenses, like utilities, and compensates you for the lost income after a temporary closure.
- Assemble insurance policies and financial records necessary to expedite the quick settlement of claims; package in a waterproof container.
- Make a complete inventory of your business and take pictures and/or videos of your business inside and out to aid in insurance or tax credit claims after the storm.
- Determine and establish written hurricane protective procedures for the business property and its contents.
- Specify conditions under which hurricane protective procedures may be implemented. Appoint an individual and designate an alternate to implement hurricane protective procedures.
- Establish plans for the protection of computer files (e.g., a backup system to secure data and safe storage). Make multiple backups of critical computer data and store them off-premises. Keep checks, purchase orders, financial records, and property and vehicle titles off-premise as well.
- If appropriate, develop a system for the identification of employees (e.g., I.D. cards, vehicle permits, badges, etc.). Also, work on the schematics of the structure and help everyone become familiarized with the layout. It’s a good idea to also use the opportunity to make changes to the space if you need to add more emergency supply storage space or make other arrangements.
- Make arrangements to pay employees, preferably in cash, as it may be some time before banking institutions are operational.
- Inform key employees and essential staff of their specific responsibilities under the established hurricane procedures. If appropriate, establish an employee training program concerning your hurricane procedures.
- Determine and acquire emergency protective equipment and supplies (e.g., heavy plastic sheeting, duct tape, masking tape, sandbags, emergency generator, storm shutters, chain saw, large pieces of plywood, hand tools, and other essential items).
- Create a clear-cut hurricane policy for employees and post it in advance. If appropriate, inform all employees on when and how they will be notified to report back to work.
- Make sure employee emergency contact information is up to date, and that you have an employee communication plan in place, which includes a designated out of town phone number where employees can leave an “I’m okay” message in a disaster.
- Evaluate whether your company needs a generator. If so, stock fuel for it. Placement is also very important, so make sure to consult with experts in the area to design a sensible solution.
From start to finish, or just for a particular problem, DDD can help your organization find strategic solutions at every stage of your structure’s life, and to prepare even for the worse possible scenario. Our team can serve as an extension of your team as your dedicated consultants for a long-term project, or you may engage our skilled firm to handle specific tasks (spanning architecture, construction, planning, maintenance, specialized consulting, and more).
In any case, DDD Group will provide highly-rated, executive-level attention from experts. We combine our building skills and experience with true innovation to bring the highest levels of efficiency and quality to each and every project.