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Stay Safe During a Hurricane

June 1, 2015

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Now that your office is prepared for a hurricane…

What? It isn’t?? Read last week’s blog post, then continue reading!

Today marks the first day of National Safety Month. Do you know what to do to keep your office safe during a hurricane watch? Remember, a hurricane watch means to be on guard for a potential hurricane.

First, if you haven’t already, designate someone in the office to monitor the news and weather reports for hurricane updates and evacuation information. Then, with the rest of your staff, follow these tips:

Windows/Doors

  • Wedge a piece of wood or stopper in your sliding glass doors and windows (if slide horizontally) to prevent them from lifting from their tracks.
  • Close and board up large windows and glass doors to prevent damage and flying debris from the powerful hurricane winds.
    • Consider purchasing thick, exterior type plywood ahead of time, cut to the size of each window, and storing until needed.
    • Taping the smaller windows doesn’t prevent them from breaking, and is sometimes a pain to remove afterwards, leaving a sticky gunk on the glass.

Equipment/Furniture

  • Secure and cover outside equipment.
  • Relocate equipment and furniture away from windows and doors, and move off of the floor, if possible.
  • Cover with plastic sheeting to minimize damage from debris or leaks.
  • Unplug equipment to prevent power surge damage.

Paperwork

  • File all paperwork left on desks and tables in filing cabinets or drawers, as this can be instantly destroyed.
  • Record all important forms and procedures into the computer for safe-keeping, then back up each of your systems to be able to continue operations while out of the office.

Communication

That’s right – Communication is key, not just before a disaster, but during and after.

  • Make sure your clients and customers know if you have to close the office. Provide them a temporary form of communication to reach you during close. Change your voicemail systems to notify of your temporary business closure or set up call forwarding to have all calls and messages sent to you or a point of contact directly.
  • Communicate to all your staff of a potential storm and the possibility of closing. Remind them of your disaster safety and evacuation plan.
  • Be prepared to answer any questions your customers and/or staff may have.