Hurricane season is here. Are you ready?

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Hurricane season has arrived, and with it, so have a new set of challenges for businesses in coastal regions and beyond. Hurricanes caused an estimated $200 billion of damage in the United States in 2017, including billions of losses for businesses through direct damage and decreased productivity. Tropical storms can be especially damaging to smaller organizations, which may have fewer resources to withstand prolonged closures and damage to facilities or goods. 

We’re committed to helping you and your employees stay safe during the storm season. Here are eight steps that you can take right now to protect your business and get back to work more quickly following a storm.

1) Prepare for a Power Outage 

While some businesses may close during major weather events to ensure the safety of customers and employees, many must stay open. Having equipment onsite to do so independently is a game-changer – often preventing costly damage to goods, services and data. If you intend to keep your business running during power outages, make sure that you have generators and fuel securely stored and available at a moment’s notice. If you plan to close your business during an outage, review operational and communication policies and procedures with employees ahead of time.

2) Secure Your Data

Back up and secure important documents, such as employee and client records, financing and legal agreements, and any files relating to insurance and suppliers. Consider cloud-based solutions that store your important data at a secure, off-site location. 

3) Review Insurance Coverage

Review your contractual agreements with vendors, insurance providers and property owners. Make sure that you know which assets are covered in the event of storm damage, and what the claims process entails. Also familiarize yourself with your obligations to your business partners. 

4) Document Assets

Have a camera on hand to document the current state of your property and assets, and to document any damage that occurs due to a storm. During the claims process, this will help you recover your lost or damaged assets more quickly.

5) Plan for Operational Shifts

If you have multiple facilities, you may have the option to shift certain operations to locations that are not in the path of a storm. Plan ahead in case this becomes necessary. If possible, also consider transporting important equipment or other assets to safer locations.

6) Communicate Emergency Procedures

Develop an emergency preparedness plan and share it with employees. Employees should be familiar with their roles and responsibilities in the event of a storm. Ensure that you have up-to-date contact information for all employees.

7) Stock Up

Keep a supply of non-perishable food and bottled water on hand should anyone become trapped by a storm in your business. Also, check that your First-Aid kits are stocked and that you have a supply of flashlights stored in an easy-to-access location. 

8) Protect Facilities

Take precautionary steps to protect facilities from storm damage by removing dead or overhanging trees and branches that could cause a power outage. Consider whether sandbags could be an effective measure in your area to protect from flooding. 

 

We encourage you to stay in touch with Direct Energy Business during storms and power outages. We can advocate on your behalf, and offer support during extraordinary situations; last year, for example, we stood by our customers in Texas by offering an energy bill credit to those affected by Hurricane Harvey. We also have strong relationships with utility companies, and may be able to help you communicate with them in the event of a power outage.

Tropical storms can have serious implications – both for energy consumers in the actual path of a storm and consumers across the country. This is because extreme weather events often dramatically affect energy prices across the nation.

If you’d like to read more, we’ve captured the history in our recent blog post.

Read the article 

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