Preparing Facilities For A Natural Disaster

One in four businesses never reopen after being hit by a major natural disaster, but with preparation, it is possible for a small business not only to weather the storm, but also to experience a significant rebound. According to Servicemaster, proactive behavior and planning can save thousands of dollars in lost revenue due to structural damage, building content damage, interruption of business operations, and employee displacement.

Some key steps before the big storms hit include:

• Minimize the risk of damage by verifying that the building meets the specified building codes

• Make sure only non-combustible materials, waterproof materials are used in risky areas

• Invest in quality fire-alarm systems, sump pumps and other protective equipment

• Install storm shutters over glass doors and windows

• Invest in a backup generator

• Inspect the roof and the foundation of the building on a regular

• Repair any leaks in ceilings, walls, doors and windows as soon as you discover them

• Keep air ducts clean and the HVAC system in good working order

• Clean drains and downspouts twice a year

Having a detailed hurricane preparedness plan of safety procedures and evacuation routes is also critical for the well-being of employees. Create an evacuation plan and stock up on emergency supplies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website offers a range of tips for surviving a natural disaster, including preparing an emergency water supply and gathering safety items. To ensure that the custodial staff in particular knows what to do in an emergency, have written procedures in place for responding to natural disasters.