By Veronica Craker, Managing Editor
The National Weather Service has issued a windstorm warning for parts of Western Washington. While many residents will be busy prepping their homes in the event power should go out, it is important for businesses to also make sure they are properly prepared.
Better Business Bureau serving the Northwest offers the following tips for preparing your business for wicked weather:
- Inspect the building. Check to make sure your brick and mortar is ready to undertake a storm with winds expected to whip up to 70 miles-per-hour. Fasten down loose outdoor equipment, bring debris indoors and secure flammable liquid containers. Give your roof a courtesy look to ensure there isn’t any loose edging and that gutters and downspouts are cleared.
- Inspect the surrounding property. Locate any large trees or limbs that could fall and be sure to move any vehicles or equipment away from the area. If limbs are close to power lines, consider removing them to avoid power outages.
- Have a disaster plan. Have a plan in place for how it will take your company to respond to a disaster. Emergency drills are vital in ensuring everyone knows how to respond to a disaster and what their roles are, should one occur. Make sure managers have employees’ mobile numbers so they can keep in contact with them if the office needs to close.
- Have finances in order. Do you know how long your business could without electricity or key staff members? Business owners should know how long they can be offline before they are affected financially. Remember: everyday your business is closed is money lost.
- Records protection. If you keep all of your important files in a basement, what would happen if that basement flooded? If a wildfire were to sweep your town would your files be safe from catching fire? One option for businesses is the use of cloud storage. It is relatively low cost and can be a great backup plan for businesses. If you expect flooding to occur wrap computers or machinery in plastic tarps or waterproof covers.
- Get the app. Many utility companies offer apps to keep residents informed of when they can expect their power to be turned on. It’s a good idea to have this at your disposal so you can ride out the storm at home, but be informed when power at your business returns.
For more information on how companies should practice storm preparedness visit ready.gov/business.