BRAC urging businesses to go over their disaster management plan

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This OES-16 East GeoColor satellite image taken Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021, at 10:20 p.m. EDT, and provided by NOAA, shows Tropical Storm Ida in the Caribbean Sea. Tropical Storm Ida formed in the Caribbean on Thursday and forecasters said its track was aimed at the U.S. Gulf Coast, prompting Louisiana’s governor to declare a state of emergency and forecasters to announce a hurricane watch for New Orleans. (NOAA via AP)

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – As Tropical Storm Ida continues to march towards Louisiana, it is time for local businesses to prepare for the possibility of this storm damage.

With that in mind, BRAC is providing some tips on how to get your business ready for a weather emergency.

The BRAC recommendations for businesses can be found below: 

  • have an evacuation plan that provides for everyone on the premises to leave the workplace safely and quickly, 
  • maintain a list and contact information for all employees and mission-critical business partners (including emergency contact names, work and cell phones, work and/or personal email addresses, PIN numbers, etc.); the list should include employees, customers, vendors, bankers, attorneys and insurance agents, 
  • establish a means of and plan for contacting employees who have been displaced from their homes by the disaster, 
  • make clear arrangements for all staff to be able to contact the business or locate information about the business if it is temporarily closed or displaced from its normal location, 
  • establish procedures for succession of management, 
  • identify operations critical to the company’s survival and recovery, 
  • decide which personnel and what records, procedures and equipment are necessary to keep the business operating, 
  • preserve vital business records, financial data, accounting records, personnel information, inventory information, etc., 
  • back up computerized records daily and store the backups, along with other vital records, at an off-site location (consider the use of a remote data center, if possible), 
  • plan how to continue operating if the building, physical plant or store is inaccessible, 
  • review business insurance options and ensure all relevant policies, such as business interruption coverage, are in place, premium payments are up-to-date, and all proper steps have been taken to ensure claims can be made in a timely manner if necessary, 
  • prepare for lengthy power interruptions during and after a disaster (i.e., arranging for alternate power sources, fuel supplies, etc.), and 
  • maintain and distribute to employees and partners the contact information for FEMA and SBA disaster assistance. 

In addition to these suggestions, there are several resources available online to assist businesses with emergency preparations and response:

“With an active storm in the Gulf, the time to review or update disaster management plans is now,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC. “Business disruption due to natural disasters is never pleasant, but having a clear plan in place and communicating that plan across your organization can help mitigate losses and keep operations running as smoothly as possible.”

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