The 2018 hurricane season is officially here. This season is predicted to be above-average and Computer Experts has put together some resources and tips to help your office. You can’t stop a hurricane from coming, but you can minimize its impact on your business.
1. Assess your risks and make a plan
Identify what risks your business would be susceptible to in the event of a hurricane and list their potential impact. Is your business in a flood zone? Will employees have difficulty getting to work? Prioritize risks and come up a detailed plan of action for each. Before preparing your plan, read our recently updated Hurricane Preparedness Guide or see our Hurricane Preparedness infographic. They cover the key elements needed to be addressed in your plan.
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2. Go through your insurance coverage
After you’ve completed your risk assessment, it’s a good time to review your company’s insurance coverage. Even if your policy protects you from hurricane damage, make sure it also accounts for other subsequent disasters such as flooding from heavy rain or possible fires from power surges. Make sure that the insured value covers your current electronic equipment. In some cases, businesses have failed to update their coverage to keep pace with the growth of potential property loss.
3. Secure your back up
Losing months or even years worth of important company information would be devastating. Make sure your data backups are located in an alternate location, away from your office and the area that is going to be impacted by the storm. If you need help backing up your data contact Computer Experts.
4. Develop a communications plan
In the chaos that often accompanies an emergency, a proven communications plan can minimize panic and the spread of misinformation. Keep employee, client, and vendor contact information readily available. It is a good idea to go “old school” with this one. “Readily available” means in a format not reliant on battery power like your cell phone or a connection to the internet. We are talking about a piece of paper that if you or your employees had to, they could have contact information for use on a landline. Also, it is a good idea to look into cloud-based phone services that can ensure contact between you and your customers even if the area’s phones are out for an extended period of time. All of these are covered in the Hurricane Preparedness Guide.
5. Protect your equipment
While your equipment, if it remains in the impacted area, can never be completely protected, there are specific best practices, such as moving them to a location above floor-level to protect from flooding, wrapping in plastic, or even placing solid structures above equipment to protect from falling debris. These should be covered in your plan and are outlined in our Hurricane Preparedness Guide.
6. Protect your employees
If your equipment is in the impacted area, it can never be completely protected. However, there are certain best practices that can be followed to minimize risk damage. These best practices include moving them to a location above floor-level to protect from flooding, wrapping in plastic, or even placing solid structures above equipment to protect from falling debris. These should be covered in your plan and are outlined in our Hurricane Preparedness Guide.
7. Review personnel policies
If you do have to temporarily close, will your employees still get paid for work missed? Will they have to use vacation or sick leave to cover their absence? Go over these issues with your HR representative and be sure to take into account FLSA and FMLA regulations. It is a good idea to communicate to your employees how they might be impacted prior to the storm.
If you want to learn more about preparing your home office or business for hurricane season, talk to one of our expert technicians! Computer Experts is one of the oldest, locally-owned residential and commercial IT service providers in Brevard County. Established in 1990, Computer Experts provides its customers with a total solution for all their IT needs with just one call. Visit Computer Experts at 1500 Palm Bay Rd., Palm Bay FL or call today at 321-726-5977. We are “Full-time IT without the full-time price!”