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Business Disaster Preparedness

How to prepare your business if severe weather is headed your way

As soon as possible before severe weather is expected, review your Business Continuity Plan to ensure it is current and updated.

Inspect the store for the following items:

1.   Sump pumps are properly functional.

2.   Roof is clear of debris.

3.   Gutters and downspouts are clear of obstructions, debris.

4.   Storm drains are clear in parking lots and receiving areas.

5.   Emergency generator is functional and tested recently.

6.   Alarm systems are functional.

7.   Store exterior is clear of extra pallets, bales.

8.   Items outside the store such as garbage cans, benches, etc. are secured.

9.   Emergency lighting is operational.

As the severe weather approaches, do the following:

1.   Maintain communications with your stores or head office.

2.   Establish communications with local first responders. Follow any instructions you are given.

3.   Provide key customers with emergency contact information for service and support.

4.   Tape windows with duct tape.

5.   Chain all shopping carts or move them inside the store. Remove or secure any temporary exterior store signage.

6.   Back up all computer files and secure your computer and server equipment. Identify and secure key paper documents critical to business continuity.

7.   Review emergency evacuation plans.

8.   Secure all cash and other media assets. Make sure to have emergency funds in your bank accounts in case of closure for several days.

9.   If necessary, or as directed, shut down power and gas feeds.

10.  Keep informed as to weather conditions and other related emergency information via a battery-operated radio.

11.  Make sure all in-store communications equipment is fully charged and operational.

12.  Keep a supply of batteries and flashlights ready for use by associates.

If the weather causes damage, make a detailed report of damages and product loss for insurance purposes. Be sure to take pictures as supporting documentation.

INFORMATION RESOURCES FOR SEVERE WEATHER

1.   New York State Aware Prepare

http://www.nyprepare.gov/aware-prepare

2.   National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Website

http://www.noaa.gov/index.html

3.   FEMA’s Ready.gov website on Hurricanes

http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

4.   National Hurricane Center Website

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/index.shtml