There is a lot of talk about preparing your home for the impending hurricane, but what should business owners and company leaders be doing to prepare their business for potential damage? While making sure you, your loved ones, and your employees are safe is a top priority, you can also use these next few days to safeguard your business’ data, equipment and building. Here are a few tips:
- Ensure important documents are stored safely. The most important step to take when preparing your business for a hurricane is to backup critical information to an offsite location. Warren Averett Technology Group Past President, Jason Asbury, says, “this should be done immediately, and steps should be taken to ensure that the backup is working correctly.” You should consult with your IT provider to make sure that your data has been successfully saved offsite. If you could experience power outages for days or weeks, be sure to print out critical business documents and data before-hand so that you can continue any important business operations.
- Prepare hardware and equipment. Once you have confirmed that your data is secure, you need to prepare your computers, devices and other appliances. “If you are in an area that will be directly impacted, there needs to be a scheduled, clean shutdown of hardware to avoid a hard shutdown from a power outage,” say Asbury. After completing the scheduled shutdown, unplug devices, printers and other office equipment and wrap them in large, durable plastic sheets to keep water out.
- Protect your building and property. After storing away important documents, protect your business building by removing any loose items and pictures from the walls or desks and placing them in cabinets and drawers. If possible, relocate first floor filing cabinets, furniture and devices to a higher ground, or place them on an elevated surface to avoid any flood damage. After securing the inside items and equipment, board your windows and doors with plywood for further protection from strong winds.
It would also be helpful to have easy access to emergency contact numbers and a paper record of your employees’ contact information, just in case. A hurricane, and any other natural disaster, should be taken seriously, and now is the time to prepare your home and business.