Hurricane season is almost over, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Other disasters can harm your business.

You always think about ways to prepare your home or family for a catastrophe, but it is just as important to protect your business as well. Here are a few important tips for your business that can save you from significant financial hardship in the future.

1. Plan an emergency response. Establish an emergency response team with volunteers in your company from each department. Make sure your building has two-way radios, a stash of non-perishable food, drinking water, flashlights and anything you would need in case the power goes out and you are unable to leave the building. Also, conduct disaster management drills to ensure all members of the team and all employees know their responsibilities.

2. Work with local government officials. Ensure that your local government’s emergency response team has a copy of your plan (with contact information) for your organization. Always provide updated contacts as team members change roles or leave the company.

3. Secure data files. Make sure to have important documents and records copied and stored in a secure location. Back-ups of important computer records should also be kept current, in a disaster-safe area. Also, confirm with your third-party vendor or cloud provider that they are prepared for any disaster.

4. Maintain emergency equipment. Test emergency generators and engine-driven fire pumps regularly for proper automatic start. Check roof-mounted equipment to ensure it is connected securely to the building’s structural steel. Also, check roof drains to ensure that they are clear and able to drain off heavy rains.

5. Inspect safety equipment and controls. Make sure the safety equipment you need exists and works properly before any disaster hits. If your employees will encounter fall hazards of greater than six feet, train them on how to use the safety equipment correctly. For example, provide ladders appropriate for specific tasks and corresponding ladder safety training. Finally, inspect exposure controls and monitor air quality for airborne hazards such as mold, asbestos and lead.

6. Reinforce workplace safety. After a disaster and your workplace returns to normal operations, make sure to reinforce standard safety measures. Conduct monthly safety briefings that discuss hazards and controls in the office. Identify or eliminate existing or potential hazards that were discovered after the disaster.

Based on the above you can see how easy it would be to overlook important safety measures that could protect your building and employees from harm during a natural disaster. What are you waiting for? Get that plan together today.

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