Despite business disruptions from Superstorm Sandy less than one year ago, few people living in coastal areas in the U.S. have taken action to prepare for severe storms, according to a new survey from the American Red Cross. Weather forecasters have predicted a rough 2013 hurricane season, and many East Coast states are still struggling to recover from damages from Sandy.
Since hurricane season began on June 1, companies should begin considering their disaster preparedness business solutions, Entrepreneur magazine stated. Business owners should assess which functions could be lost or receive direct or indirect damage. Since hurricane damage can be widespread, businesses located away from the coast need to prepare as well because natural disasters can have a dramatic impact on logistics. Determining which functions are the most vulnerable can help firms create a priority list for risk management process. Companies need to be informed of which natural disasters have the potential to occur in areas where the business and suppliers are located. Performing risk assessment procedures in advance can help businesses better prepare and adapt their contingency plans.
Companies need to communicate with all vendors and suppliers. Even if a company does not suffer hurricane damage, suppliers may have experienced disruptions. Vendors should also have established back up plans for continuing production, and organizations may need to line up additional suppliers in the event of a stoppage of production, according to Entrepreneur. Business owners also need to create a communication plan in case phone lines are not working.
Business owners also need to check in with their insurance agents to determine what is covered before a natural disaster strikes. After determining which operational functions could suffer the greatest amount of damages from a disruption, this can help companies update preparation plans.