Arthur, Bertha and Cristobal ushered in a very active 2020 hurricane season. Though hurricanes are less threatening to Canada than to its southern neighbour, experts say that nearly 40 percent of Atlantic named storms entered the Canadian Hurricane Centre Response zone between 1951 and 2008. A quarter of those made landfall in Canada. Flooding has been a related concern as well.
Noting the increased severity of storms due to climate change, Paul Davis urges businesses in Atlantic and Eastern Canada to prepare. “Our experts are ready to help businesses plan,” says Leslie Anderson, Paul Davis Vice President of Training and Launch. “Call your local office for prompt assistance and advice. If you’re managing planning in-house, our ‘Five Ps’ recommendations are an excellent place to start.”
Planning: Successful hurricane preparedness starts with asking questions about your business, its risks, how well it’s protected and what is currently in place to assist. As part of this step, assess the likelihood that your business will experience a hurricane-related disruption. Following assessments, staff should update emergency plans, check insurance coverage, verify contact information for staff and interface with emergency services to ensure they understand your business model and likely needs.
Protection: Next, take targeted protective measures. Ensure physical structures have intact roofs, anchored gutters, reinforced doors and windows and adequate drainage. Protect critical equipment and systems by relocating them to higher ground if possible. Back up data, assess inventory records, lay in emergency supplies and ensure all critical staff are equipped to work remotely. While these preparatory steps may not be used if hurricanes skirt your property this year, they are useful in any weather emergency including severe thunderstorms and hailstorms.
Procurement: Ensure suppliers and vendors are ready to provide any services that may be necessary. Many product and service suppliers have emergency planning procedures in place; initiate discussions with these important partners to ensure they can serve your unique needs in urgent situations. Many can aid your planning processes: Paul Davis offers free personalized Emergency Preparedness Plans (EPPs). This process ensures that customized mitigation and restoration services quickly address your company’s specific needs if disaster strikes.
Practice: Conduct drills to ensure that planning has addressed all key factors and that procedures function as expected. Are business partners reachable? Do key suppliers have inventory and services as promised? Is critical data accessible remotely and are offsite command centres suitably equipped? Can your management team communicate well and are roles clear?
Proactive: Finally, if a hurricane threatens, implement your emergency plan early. Don’t wait until officials are certain a hurricane will affect your location. Many companies wait too late to declare an emergency, thereby endangering staff, delaying response and increasing business disruption. When the hurricane misses your location? Consider your response a welcome practice session.
Is your business ready for severe summer weather? Contact Paul Davis at 844-215-7898 for planning advice and assistance. Should a storm strike despite planning, Paul Davis teams are poised to protect your business with immediate mitigation and restoration.