Come join us at our Shaping Clay meeting on September 30 so that we can continue our discussion started last month on disaster planning. While some may find this discussion a ‘downer’, 40% of businesses / organizations that are affected by a disaster never reopen. Now that’s a real ‘downer’.
Have you completed your Business Disaster Plan? If you need a place to start, go to www.flgetaplan.com and select Business. After entering contact information for your business you will be asked to:
- Provide important business contacts including utilities, suppliers, employees, and clients
- Provide information for alternate locations for your business in the event you need to relocate
- Create a list of important records, documents, and software your business needs to operate
When you print out your plan it will include the sections you entered plus checklists for:
- Disaster supply kit and checklist
- Property protection checklist
- Business recovery checklist
Here are a few examples of things you may not have already considered:
- Do you have all the information suggested above accessible in one place whether it is in a binder or in a cloud so that you could recover from a disaster?
- How would you communicate with your employees before and after a disaster?
- If you are in leased space, do you know how to shut off water and gas in the event of an emergency?
- Have you reviewed your insurance policies recently with your agent to make sure that you have adequate coverage? What will you need to provide the insurer to document a loss? Do you have photographs of your business which would serve as the ‘before’ for your insurance company?
- What are your plans for recovery of your operations if your building is destroyed?
The Disaster Handbook published by the University of Florida, Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is another great resource for disaster preparedness. Follow this link http://disaster.ifas.ufl.edu/ and you’ll find a vast array of information to read and print out, web resources, and other products such as videos. Click on the words Master Guide to get started. As you read some of the tips and they refer to households, just replace with the word business.
Someone found a list of agencies to contact in the event of a disaster created by the University of Florida IFAS, http://stjohns.ifas.ufl.edu/hurricane_disaster_contact.shtml which is available through the St. Johns County website. The state of Florida has a disaster preparation website which also has a lot of helpful information at http://www.floridadisaster.org/index.asp Should links to sites like these be available right from the Clay County Emergency Management webpage?
If you don’t have a disaster plan this is a great opportunity to learn from those who do have a plan and are glad that they do. And who better to learn from than John Ward, Deputy Director of Clay County Emergency Operations Center. He will be with us (unless he is heading up an emergency response) and joined by people from the Sheriff’s Office and Health Department to share valuable tips and answer our questions. Andre Van Heerden will be with us to share how the ESF 15 Volunteer Response Team at the Emergency Operation Center works. Everyone is invited to join in this session, so see you September 30, at 8:30 at St. Vincent’s in Middleburg.
P.S. Did you know that CodeRed has been replaced by AlertClayCounty? Have you signed up for the new alert system?