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Will Tropical Storm Nate (Hurricane Nate) Impact New Orleans?

Why Your New Orleans Hurricane Emergency Kit Must Also Contain a Disaster Recovery Plan

Although we’re used to storms like hurricanes here in the Big Easy, New Orleans business owners still are woefully underprepared for disasters, overall. We’ve put together some information for you that proves that your New Orleans hurricane emergency kit must contain a disaster recovery plan for your business.

Tropical Storm Nate


New Orleans Hurricane PreparednessIs your company prepared for the next hurricane to hit New Orleans dead on?

Most aren’t…don’t be a statistic…be prepared.

CLICK HERE and download our Business Continuity Preparedness Checklist.


CLOUD DATA STORAGE

First, you’ll want to make sure all your IT systems are backed up in the Cloud just in case the power goes out. If you don’t already have a business continuity plan in place, copy all important data to a Cloud service like OneDrive, Dropbox or iCloud to make sure your files are protected.

Although there is an advanced warning when a tropical storm or hurricane approaches, it’s still important to transport your data quickly and at the first sign of trouble.

SECURE YOUR PHYSICAL WORKSITE/OFFICES

Protecting your facilities and equipment is key to restoring operations in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane. Your emergency response plan should include the following:

  • Make use of an Uninterruptible Power Supply (batteries and generators), backup water source and a supply of gasoline-powered pumps to keep the lower levels of your facility clear of flood waters.
  • Also, make sure you have surge protectors in place to ensure if the power goes out, so when it comes back on, there’s little risk of power spikes and your IT systems getting fried.
  • Board up of windows and other vulnerable areas to protect your building from high-speed flying debris.
  • Sandbag any area that’s subject to flooding.
  • Secure electronics such as computers and other office equipment with straps or Velcro.
  • Anchor large furniture (bookcases, shelves, filing cabinets) to wall studs.
  • Relocate any valuables/petty cash to a safe location.
  • Secure all utilities including water heaters, gas tanks, and heaters. If possible, raise them to higher locations to avoid water damage.
  • Turn off all the utilities prior to a hurricane or tropical storm making landfall, if possible.

DESIGNATE AND PROTECT CRITICAL INFORMATION

Further to-dos within your New Orleans hurricane preparedness plan include:

  • Designate important contacts to have that are crucial to business operations, such as employees, banks, lawyers, accountants, suppliers, etc.
  • Backup documents that are not easily reproduced such as insurance documents, legal contracts, tax returns, and accounting statements to avoid water damage.
  • Seal paper documents in waterproof containers on site if you can’t take them offsite.
  • Save all your designated contacts and documents in an alternate, accessible off-site location, and in the Cloud if you have them electronically. (Insurance company and agent’s contact information are very important to have.)
  • Take pictures of your business before the emergency. This will help you in case you need to file a damage claim later on.
  • Relay Emergency contact information to employees such as the nearest hospital and police, along with: Life safety issues: 9-1-1, Small Business Administration (SBA): 1-800-359-2227, FEMA Tele-registration hot-line: 1-800-462-9022

IMPORTANT NOTE: Identify your mission-critical applications, essential backup data, offsite data storage, relocation/placement of your employees, remote equipment and access to equipment (networking), and identification of key personnel and beyond (in case these employees are unavailable).

DETERMINE A REMOTE WORKPLACE FOR YOU AND YOUR STAFF.

The inability to access your workplace is highly probable when a tropical storm or hurricane strikes. Roads may be flooded or closed, your employees may be unable to leave their homes in a state of emergency, or may be reluctant to leave their families.

It’s important that your New Orleans hurricane preparedness list covers contingencies so your employees can work remotely from their homes, if possible. If employees must travel away from their homes to a remote location, addressing the financial implications of it ahead of time is advisable.  Have cash on hand and expense accounts in advance for travelers. Consider pre-booking hotel rooms if necessary.

STOCK UP ON THESE ITEMS NOW IF ANY EMPLOYEES WILL BE STUCK IN YOUR FACILITY DURING THE HURRICANE!

During hurricane preparation for your New Orleans business, the following items should be gathered in one location at your place of business should the storm hit while you are on premises. This will help protect the safety of your staff members should disaster strike during regular working hours and without adequate notice, as will the following:

  • Battery operated radio or television
  • Non-perishable three-day food supply
  • Three-day supply of water (One gallon of water per person, per day)
  • Coolers and containers for water and washing
  • Blankets, pillows, cots, and chairs
  • First Aid Kit and first aid manual
  • Flashlights, batteries, light sticks
  • Toolkit (basic tools, gloves, etc.)
  • Camera and film for documenting damages
  • Whistle/signal flare to signal for help
  • Tarps, plastic bags, duct tape
  • Cleaning supplies, including mops, towels and garbage cans
  • Smoke alarms and fire extinguishers
  • Electric generator
  • Gas for vehicles, generators and other equipment
  • Cash, ATM cards, credit cards, proper identification

ESTABLISH A CRISIS-COMMUNICATIONS PLAN

Clear communications are important in any situation, but especially before, during and after a tropical storm or hurricane. Set up a communication tree where one employee contacts two or three, and on and on, so you can coordinate emergency activities, warn employees of impending danger, and maintain contact.

Consider all types of communications, especially voice and data and ensure your team provides all forms of contact (cell, text, landline, email, etc.).

PUT SHUT-DOWN PROCEDURES IN PLACE

If you must shut your business down, work with your team to establish shutdown procedures and ensure that they are part of your overall recovery plan. Include startup procedure to facilitate re-occupation of your site after the storm is gone and it’s safe to return.

Call us now at 504.849.0570 or email us at info@biositgroup.com for further advice and help on putting together the best hurricane emergency kit available, from BIOS Technologies – among the most trusted disaster recovery specialists in New Orleans.

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