Businesses Affected By a Hurricane Must Take Steps to Prevent The Worst
"When disaster strikes, there is a lot of work to be done, and many business owners may not know where to begin," said Steven D. Hernandez, senior vice president of Chubb & Son and worldwide loss control manager for Chubb Commercial Insurance. "Returning to work after a major disaster requires considerable thought. If business owners are not prepared for the potential risks, they could be creating a crisis within a crisis."
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies offers direction to businesses working to restore operations.
Waiting for clearance to access buildings and records can be frustrating. Here are some activities many businesses can do, while they wait, to expedite their companies' recovery.
- Keep informed of daily changes in conditions and immediate dangers
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides health and safety information for both the public and emergency responders.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers a listing of resources to assist in recovery efforts.
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) serves as the lead agency for the cleanup of hazardous materials. Daily, the agency reports response activities and results of water and air testing.
- Maintain frequent communications with employees.
- Arrange for trauma management support through employee assistance programs or other counseling resources.
- Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) provides disaster relief and mental health resources.
Verify the health, safety and security of your facility.
Check with local code officials to identify building-code requirements for repairs, new construction or demolition.
- Prioritize order of resuming operations, and identify obstacles (e.g., utility lines, contamination, building integrity) created by the disaster.
- Verify the operational state of key suppliers and subcontractors, and develop procedures for quickly procuring critical machinery, equipment, software and materials.