Prepare Now: Your Business and Hurricane Michael


Disaster stock photo
© Getty Images

If you’re a business owner along the Gulf of Mexico, there’s still time to prepare your business ahead of Hurricane Michael’s landfall this week. The Chamber Foundation has resources for chambers of commerce and businesses that walk you through how to prepare your business for a natural disaster.

Here are five ways your business can prepare ahead of Hurricane Michael. If you have specific questions, the Chamber Foundation’s Disaster Help Desk is ready to provide business owners guidance ahead of the storm. Call 1-888-MY-BIZ-HELP before Hurricane Michael makes landfall.

1. Finalize Your Emergency Contact List

During disasters, communication with employees, suppliers, and customers is essential. Make sure you have the phone numbers, email addresses, or social media contact information for your key business contacts. Communicate with your employees your plan for yourself and your business before and after the storm and ensure they know how to get in contact with you.  

2. Encourage Your Employees to Prepare

As you get yourself personally prepared for the disaster, make sure your employees know what steps they can take to prepare as well. This includes making sure they have their own family emergency plan and are stocked up on basic disaster supplies including food and water, a flashlight, batteries, chargers, cash, and first aid supplies.

3. Back up Your Data Off-Site   

Ensure there is an updated backup of all crucial data related to your business—located somewhere outside the business. This could either be on an external hard drive or through cloud storage. This will help ensure nothing is lost if there is damage to your business.  

4. Review Insurance Policies

After a disaster is not the time to familiarize yourself with your company’s insurance plan. Review your plan now and what will be needed to file a claim—so that if you need to file it after a disaster strikes, you’ll be ready.

5. Secure Facilities

If your business has a physical storefront or buildings, you’ll want to protect it similar to how you would your personal property. Consider your inventory, equipment, and technology, where it is located, and if it can be moved or sheltered.

After these first five steps, check out our Resilience in a Box workbook. Developed in partnership with the UPS Foundation, Resilience in a Box walks you through how to create a business continuity plan.

Preparing now will help you recover later. The Chamber Foundation has resources for businesses of all sizes to prepare ahead of the storm. Our Disaster Help Desk for Business (1-888-MY-BIZ-HELP) can give your business guidance on how to prepare ahead of Hurricane Michael making landfall.