When Hurricane Sandy plowed into the Northeast United States in 2012, estimated business losses totaled more than $25 billion. In New Jersey alone, 19,000 small businesses suffered losses of $250,000 or more with estimated losses at $8.3 billion, about 1 percent of the gross state product. The event served as a hard lesson in the unpredictability and danger of storms.
During the summer hurricane season it’s vital for businesses to follow the “Red Cross Ready” steps outlined by the American Red Cross. These steps help ensure your safety and promote business continuity when paired with hurricane damage restoration.
What Does it Mean to Be Red Cross Ready?
In addition to responding to the needs of those affected by disasters, the American Red Cross encourages business owners to prepare for the hurricanes and other incidents by making an emergency preparedness and recovery plan.
Being Red Cross Ready means:
- Creating an emergency preparedness kit with essential supplies: The kit should include a three-day supply of food and water for each employee, flashlights, weather radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, copies of important documents, emergency blankets, maps of the area, building blueprints, two-way radios, whistles and hygiene supplies.
- Making a plan to prepare and recover: Determine what types of emergencies are most likely to occur in your area. Make a plan to prepare and respond to each one. Safety officers and managers often help with this type of task. Then identify the preparedness and recovery responsibilities of the different positions within the company so they work together as a team. For example, the head of one department might be tasked with calling employees and their families, while an office assistant works with document damage restoration specialists. Implement a system that backs up data and stores electronic copies of documents. Take steps to reduce the risk of damage in your facility with precautions such as storing documents on the upper levels of a building, securing shelves to walls, using surge protectors with electronic equipment, and installing emergency lighting. An essential part of a plan is practicing as many elements of it as possible using drills so it becomes second nature if a disaster strikes.
- Use information to stay safe: In addition to understanding which types of disasters could affect your business, it’s equally important to know the community’s response plans. As you prepare, identify how authorities will keep you updated with the latest information during and after a disaster. Clarify the differences between warnings, watches and different alerts so your team can take appropriate action. All employees should know how to prepare for a disaster and the steps to take to stay safe.
After a hurricane, Polygon is one of your greatest allies. We offer a comprehensive drying services and state-of-the-art equipment rentals that enhance your business continuity efforts. If your documents suffer water damage, our emergency drying services will stabilize them and prevent future damage. Our DX units, desiccant dehumidifiers, heaters, air filters and cooling coils offer protection against the damaging effects of water. Get in touch with Polygon today to learn more about the equipment you may need after a disaster and our recovery-focused services.