Safe & Sound: Are You Prepared this Hurricane Season?
Last modified on July 26th, 2023
Taking Control in the Storm
Summertime brings to mind fun activities and sunny days but, for many businesses, warmer months are also a reminder to prepare for hurricane season. Below are a few ways you and your company can stay safe and weather any storm.
First, a bit of good news – if you can anticipate a storm coming, you can prepare for it. Every year, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) makes predictions about the number and severity of upcoming hurricanes.
Quick Tip: For real-time information, install an app or two on your smartphone to track hurricanes in real-time, stay in touch with loved ones and find gas stations to fuel up your car. These free top-rated apps are worth having in the palm of your hand when a storm is on its way:
- NOAA Now provides the latest information, alerts and updates about hurricanes and tropical storm warnings in addition to severe thunderstorm and tornado alerts.
- Zello Walkie Talkie helps individuals and groups stay in touch when cell tower signals are weak or nonexistent.
- GasBuddy allows drivers to give real-time updates on which nearby gas stations actually have fuel, along with live updates on gas prices.
Put together an Emergency Prep Kit
Any business within 50 miles of a coastline should be prepared for hurricane season. The first step? Assemble an emergency prep kit or take time to review one you already have.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides detailed instructions on building an emergency prep kit for storm situations. As a company leader or manager, it is essential that you make sure these items are prepared ahead of the storm and readily accessible to workers.
Don’t find yourself underwater, be prepared
5 Items to Include in your Workplace Emergency Prep Kit:
- Non-perishable Food and Water – Every employee on site needs to have access to enough non-perishable food and drink. Consider including items like energy bars, canned goods, dried fruits, nuts, and ready-to-eat meals. Aim to offer at least a 72-hour supply per person.
- First Aid Kit and Medical Supplies – Be prepared for emergencies with a well-equipped workplace first aid kit. It should include band-aids, gauze, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, scissors, tweezers, disposable gloves, and over-the-counter medications for common health issues.
- Essential Electronics – Power outages are common during emergencies, so it’s essential to have essential electronics that can help in communication and provide lighting. Include items like: flashlights, a battery-operated weather radio, and cell phones (along with extra batteries and solar chargers).
- Basic Tools – Quick fixes and minor repairs may be necessary to ensure the safety of employees and the workplace. Include basic tools such as a wrench, pliers, and a screwdriver in your emergency kit.
- Maps and Emergency Contacts – In high-stress situations, access to vital information is crucial. Your company should have an emergency action plan in place. Be sure to include detailed maps of the building and surrounding area with escape routes, nearby assembly points, emergency exits, and contact numbers for local emergency services.
Communication is Key
Beyond the emergency prep kit, clear communication with employees can be a literal lifesaver. Here are a few ways to make sure your company is prepared, if a major storm comes your way.
- Develop a written company emergency preparedness plan that outlines company procedures and review with all workers.
- Compile a directory with employee information and emergency contacts, and make it easy for others to access.
- Send emails or schedule automated calls/texts to alert workers of company plans and directives in advance of a hurricane.
For more information about what to do before, during and after a hurricane, watch our Hurricane Preparedness webcast. With a corporate office office located in the heart of Central Florida, we know quite a bit about storm prep, and we’re happy to share valuable resources with you.