GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico – Before disaster strikes your business, nothing is more important than having a plan in place to protect your employees and safeguard your assets to minimize the disruption to the business.
About 25 percent of businesses do not reopen after disasters. Having an emergency disaster plan and a continuity of operations plan in place can reduce that risk and help the business recover faster. Below are tips to help businesses prepare for disasters large and small.
General Business Preparedness Tips
- Create a communications plan to keep in touch with customers, suppliers and employees. Provide employees with information on when, if and how to report to work after a disaster. Consider teleworking as an option.
- Check insurance policies to ensure you have enough damage coverage.
- Speak to an insurance agent about how to protect your business with flood insurance. Learn more at floodsmart.gov.
- Have an information technology recovery plan. Compile an inventory of computer hardware and back-up data.
- Keep copies of important records such as building plans, insurance policies, bank account and employee contact information and other priority documents in a waterproof container. Store a set of records at an off-site location.
- Develop a plan to help identify ways to protect facilities, physical assets and electronic information. Be sure to engage people with disabilities and access and functional needs in your emergency planning.
- Develop professional relationships with more than one company in case your primary contractor cannot service your needs.
- Identify and prepare for any support your employees, clients and communities may need.
- Connect with local officials on social media like Facebook and Twitter.
- Download the FEMA app at fema.gov/mobile-app to receive severe weather alerts and safety tips. Also, visit weather.gov for updated alerts from the National Weather Service.
Businesses interested in participating in FEMA’s Continuity of Operations, or COOP, workshops may email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. COOP is a federal government initiative that ensures state and federal agencies continue essential functions.
Businesses can also participate in the National Business Emergency Operations Center to share information and situational awareness. Participation is voluntary and open to all members of the private sector including large and small businesses, chambers of commerce, trade associations, universities, think-tanks and non-profits. For more information on joining, please email NBEOC@fema.dhs.gov.
For more information on Puerto Rico’s recovery and hurricane business preparedness, visit www.ready.gov/business and fema.gov/disaster/4339.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362) 711/VRS - Video Relay Service). Multilingual operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish). TTY call 800-462-7585.
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