The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season is officially underway, and if seasonal forecast from Colorado State University’s (CSU) prediction center come true, we’ll see an “above-average” season of activity.
CSU has issued seasonal forecasts for the Atlantic region annually for 30 years and predicts that 2013 will see a total of 18 named storms, with nine developing into hurricanes and four major hurricanes. Additionally, CSU’s Philip Klotzbach and William Gray suggest “a 72 percent chance at least one of these storms will strengthen to a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) and make landfall somewhere on the U.S. coast from Texas to Maine.” Klotzbach and Gray give Florida a 71 percent chance of hurricane landfall for the 2013 season, while New Jersey and New York are predicted as having a 2 percent and 13 percent probability of landfall, respectively.
Although the predictions do not give New England states a very high likelihood of feeling the effects of a hurricane this season, the devastation left by Superstorm Sandy can still be seen in our communities. And if there is one lesson business owners can learn from last year’s major storm, it’s to be prepared for anything. As we’ve previously shared, one of the best ways to be prepared is by having a solid emergency action plan in place. Still, there are other steps that business owners can take to give their businesses the best chance of survival in the event that operations are halted due to a hurricane or other kind of disaster.
For instance, Bob Boyd, president of a disaster recovery company based in North Carolina, shares with Entrepreneur Magazine the importance of establishing a crisis communication plan and testing it. Natural disasters have proven time and time again that cell phones and landlines aren’t always dependable in the aftermath, so alternate communication plans should be in place, for employees, vendors, and customers. Boyd recommends using a text message service or creating a Facebook page or group for your business that is used specifically for emergency communication purposes.
Additionally, you can make your business “disaster ready” by backing up data systems and testing the recovery process regularly, because the last thing you need is to be in crisis mode and discover that your system isn’t working. You can also create “business-on-the-go” kit that includes checks, letterhead, cash, and other items so you can set up a remote office; and you should also equip employees to work from home or an alternate location. All company procedures related to emergency weather situations should also be discussed so that employees are sure of what to do and understand what is expected in a situation that disrupts normal operations.
As Business Insurance puts it, “neglecting to put basic precautions and procedures in place to protect against hurricanes can mean clipping financial losses,” but with the proper plans and insurance policies in place, your business can survive any storm. If you are looking to update your business insurance policies to better protect it from any disaster, contact Lamb Financial Group today. We are here to help you find the right policy for your needs.