May 23, 2008
Sunday marks the beginning of Florida Hurricane Preparedness Week and we are urging businesses and professionals across Florida to create disaster preparedness plans for their business. Preparing now will enable you to better protect your family, your home and your livelihood, allowing you to recover much more quickly.
Being a former resident of South Florida, I have seen first hard the devastation that hurricanes can inflict. It is important that we learn from the destruction we have seen in the past and prepare our homes and businesses before this hurricane season begins. Having a recovery plan can make the time following a hurricane less stressful and help you remain calm during a tumultuous time.
Through the Division of Emergency Management, the state offers a very useful Web-based tool to help business owners and families create customized disaster plans. To create a plan for your business and family, go to www.FloridaDisaster.org and be prepared before June 1, the beginning of hurricane season.
Here are a few quick tips you should think about when creating your business plan:
As we encourage you to take this week to prepare for the season, I would like to make a commitment to you. If a hurricane does impact your business this hurricane season, the Department and I will do all we can to help you through the recovery process. But remember, preparing now will enable you to recover much more quickly.
- Retrieve all important business records from your place of business and store them in a water tight container in a safe place. If you are required to display your license in order to do business, take it with you. In the event your business property sustains damage, you will be sure to have proof of licensure.
- Have list of locations of where your employees are sheltering from the storm and document out of town contacts.
- Expect no cell or telephone communications immediately following a storm. Establish essential staff for post-storm recovery and have pre-determined locations for employees to meet when conditions permit.
- Prepare a photo/video inventory of assets and store it in a safe location. In addition, if you have the capability, you may consider emailing the inventory footage to a web-based e-mail account, such as Yahoo, for easy retrieval.
- Ensure that your insurance policy payment is up-to-date prior to insurer cut off.
- Maintain detailed expenses for disaster recovery for possible reimbursement from FEMA.
- Have cash on-hand, as banking may be off-line for several days.
On a final note, I’d like to wish you all a happy Memorial Day weekend. While many of you will probably enjoy cookouts with family and friends, as I plan to, we should also take the time to remember those American soldiers who died defending our country. If not for them, we wouldn’t enjoy our country as it is today.
Department of Business and
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
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