The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an above average Atlantic hurricane season this year. NOAA data indicates we can expect 13 to 19 named storms and that six to 10 of those storms will grow to hurricane strength. Three to six of them will become major hurricanes.
In 2019, there were 18 named storms. Six of those storms became hurricanes and three of those were category 3 or higher. On average, a typical year has 12 named storms with six hurricanes, with three of those considered major hurricanes.
As we enter hurricane season, there are things you can do now to prepare such as:
- Review, update and test your hurricane plan.
- Contact your critical suppliers and assess their abilities to respond and recover from a hurricane.
- Inform key employees or essential staff of their specific responsibilities under your established hurricane procedures.
- Establish a primary and alternate means of communicating with your employees, critical vendors, business partners and customers. Make sure these systems and protocols are well understood and tested.
- Confirm that your IT systems and data backup procedures are comprehensive and current.
- Review your insurance policies to ensure you have flood and wind coverage, as well as any areas of limited coverage. Ensure your policy covers general business liability, environmental, pollution etc.
- Educate employees on preparedness. Have them develop a family emergency plan that includes out-of-town contacts and locations to reunite if they are separated. Be sure everyone knows each other’s work and cell phone numbers.
- Encourage employees to build an emergency kit or “to-go bag.” Put together emergency supplies including items such as: medication, first-aid supplies, non-perishable food, water (one gallon per person per day), clothing, blankets, battery-powered radios, flashlights, and of course, extra batteries. Stock items for your kit to last at least three days.
In 2019, associated losses related to weather disasters in the U.S. reached $45 billion. In 2018, it was $91 billion.
Hurricanes pose a serious threat to people and property. You can diminish losses by following some simple steps:
- Understand the threat.
- Develop a response plan to deal with the business and personal disruptions and finally prepare ahead of time.
The absolute worst time to prepare for a hurricane is when it is a couple of days from impacting you.
Contact Assurance Software for help reviewing and updating your hurricane preparedness program.
Topics: Business Continuity
Written by Mike Jennings, VP of Advisory Services
Mike leads the Assurance Advisory Services team. During his more than 26 years of business continuity management, disaster recovery and enterprise risk management experience, he has mentored clients and helped them solve their program needs. Mike has worked extensively with clients throughout the world on their BCM programs, including their underlying incident management and crisis management programs.