In lieu of all the horrific weather wreaking havoc on so many different regions of the country, it is important that we consider ourselves blessed. On the contrary, the state of Florida can only be fortunate enough to dodge dangerous weather so many times before we are the ones making national news.
When weather gets treacherous in Tampa, many folks are faced with protecting their home and their business. Whether you run a mom-and-pop bakery in a residential area, or operate a warehouse in the industrial district, no business owner can afford to get hit by hazardous weather.
In addition to solidifying the safety of your family and home, you must also have an emergency weather game plan devised to cover every aspect of your company. One of the perks of being a small business owner is not having to deal with corporate regulations. The downside to this is that it makes it that much easier to neglect an emergency weather preparedness strategy.
In order to thoroughly protect your business’s physical, liquid, and human assets, consider the following safety suggestions:
- Communicate Clearly. Write out a standard set of procedures and make sure every employee understands it. Make sure to consider the potential damages that can occur as a result of the different kinds of dangerous weather – hurricanes, thunderstorms, blizzards (for those NOT in Florida), tornadoes, lightning, flooding, hail, fires, etc.
- Don’t Delay. As the business owner, it is your responsibility to obtain real time updates concerning inclement weather.If there is a chance of adverse conditions, stay on top of the news so that you can react accordingly if watches or warnings are issued in areas that will affect your business.
- Exercise Exiting. This may seem silly, but if dangerous weather strikes suddenly, make sure that all employees are able to evacuate safely and in an efficient manner. It doesn’t hurt to do a few trial runs either, just in case someone goes into panic mode in the event of a real disaster.
- Invest in Insurance. Insurance is pricey, but it is worth the cost when you consider what could possibly be lost in the event of a category five hurricane. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Network with Neighbors. Team up with other small businesses in the area to help keep Tampa’s treasured small businesses running for years to come. Assist each other with boarding up windows, relaying information, and gathering safety supplies if needed.
- Protect Papers (And Paperless). Whether you like to do things old school on paper, or store all files and data virtually, make sure you have a backup system of some sort.
- Showoff Socially. When the storm has passed, literally, hopefully your strategy and preparation efforts prove to be worthwhile. Even so, there is likely to be damage in the community as a whole. Take this opportunity to pitch in and lend a helping hand. It’s good for your brand because it shows social responsibility, but it’s also the right thing to do.