SVP, US Business Operations
With the 2019 hurricane season still having several weeks remaining, we remind businesses to take another look at available resources to proactively plan for the safety of employees and assets in storm-prone areas.
Hurricanes and tropical storms can cause significant residual damage lasting weeks, months or, in some cases, even years. Immediately after a storm’s passage, widespread flooding can continue to occur, posing a risk to life and hampering recovery efforts. The extensive and extended fallout from previous storms underscores the need for organisations to ensure up-to-date evacuation plans are in place prior to a storm and that they have the capability to enact these plans. In general, businesses should ensure they can scale down staff and establish continuity plans to allow for the continuation of operations if impacted by a storm.
It is critical that businesses in disaster-prone areas regularly review their business continuity plans and focus on three key areas:
- Ensuring that they are familiar with all the steps in their plan
- Safeguarding their people
- Having an extended recovery plan in place for getting back to normal as soon as possible after the storm hits.
A good business continuity plan details steps to be taken before, during and after an event to maintain the safety of their personnel, preserve the integrity of their operations and the financial viability of the organisation.
Besides the basics of such things as back-up power and supplies, companies should consider establishing agreements with companies outside the disaster zone and having teams immediately available to assess damage and re-establish some level of operations. For areas already impacted by a previous storm, it is likely that resources and response capabilities will be degraded, so a thorough review of existing plans is even more imperative.
We can provide expert advice to help organisations develop plans tailored to fit their needs, at a level that matches the organisation’s risk tolerance.
The Healix Travel Oracle app is one solution to consider. It offers timely and efficient hurricane warnings, providing staff with instant access to critical insight and support through this season’s tropical events. The Travel Oracle app can be used by anyone and ensures employees are kept up to date with vital information on breaking news and incidents across the world. The alerts are written by expert analysts and brief travellers on real-time developments, providing an assessment of the situation and advice on how to mitigate risk of exposure. This makes it a vital tool for employers with workers in areas likely to be impacted during hurricane season.
We offer alerts to clients that are published in advance of a hurricane making landfall, allowing time for evacuations or offering expert advice on how best to stand fast during the storm’s passage. We advise all employers to encourage staff to keep a ‘grab bag’ ready to go in case of emergencies, with supplies of food and water and any necessary medicines. Employees should know their company’s emergency procedures and all emergency contact numbers to help reduce risks during hurricane season.