By Lauren Searcy
Hindsight is 20/20. But when disaster strikes, you don’t want that to be your motto. Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. Now is the time to get your business prepared. Having a plan will help save you time, money and could help position your business after a disastrous event. Knowing the basics will help you plan out the rest.
Disaster recovery happens in three phases. First, local response teams step in, state aid is sent in as needed, and national aid comes in as a last resort. Your county or area Emergency Operations Center (EOC) should be your initial contact as to what is happening prior to, during, and after a storm. County EOCs are comprised of law enforcement agencies, firefighters, paramedics, weather experts, area business leaders, and local elected officials. They will be able to let you know when you need to close down your business for evacuation and how soon you will be able to reopen. It’s a good idea to go ahead and have a contact readily available in case you need other services, like a tree removed from your building or a gas leak contained. Your local EOC will also be able to help you with that. State Emergency Operations Centers can assist you in creating a plan for your business. You can now store files, numbers, and information on their database. Floridadisaster.org has a myriad of information on how to create a plan, important contacts, and links to every county EOC website. National relief only comes in if state and local efforts are overwhelmed, as was the case in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.