Hurricane Preparedness Procedures

Hurricane Preparedness Featured

The 2016 Hurricane Season is June 1, 2016, to November 30, 2016.

A successful disaster or hurricane preparedness plan is crucial for businesses that operate around the clock, especially mission critical facilities. Buildings such as data centers, hospitals, laboratories, public safety centers, and military installations are examples of mission critical facilities. Interruption of operation of any of these can cause massive loss of revenue, communication, or in the worst case, life.

The primary goal is to ensure zero interruption of daily workings. While geared toward mission critical facilities, they can be helpful for any business as they create their Hurricane Preparedness Procedures. Industry standards follow what is commonly known as The 9 Rs of a Successful Recovery Plan.

1. Reason for planning

List the reasons your organization has for disaster planning. Some common reasons include: protect human life; recover critical operations; protect competitive position; preserve customer confidence and good will, and protect against litigation.

2. Recognition

You need to train all employees to recognize warning signs and heed issued warnings. Make sure everyone is aware what the procedures are should they notice something awry such as a leak in the ceiling or flooding. Do the security guards, cleaning crews and other contractors know who to call and how to report trouble? The initial reaction can be essential in preventing further damage or losses. Set up notifications for police, fire, medical and for management.

3. Reaction

Once events are happening, you need to make sure everyone knows what for what they are responsible: security, press announcements, who is or isn’t allowed on site, and evacuation routes. If an Executive Management Team is involved, everyone needs to understand procedures for filing initial damage assessments and their critical events log, for future audit purposes.

4. Response

The reaction to a disaster, such as a hurricane, could significantly affect operations, especially in a mission critical facility. You must establish the best notification system to inform everyone as quickly as possible. Designate an Emergency Operation Center as the epicenter focusing on recovery. Set up all communication and treatment equipment in a safe place in advance to expedite getting the word out and ensure there is a proper place to address patients or employees. Protecting your human and equipment resources is important. Safety needs to be your priority.

5. Recovery

Establish procedures for operations during the Recovery phase. Concerns include modified signing authority for equipment purchases, procedures for obtaining cash, procedures for maintaining physical security, procedures for arranging security at the damaged site and at the recovery center, in addition to methods for finding and getting to the recovery center.

6. Restoration

Once the disaster has passed, your restoration phase needs to include coordinating staff and resources to return your site and operations back to normal. Make sure to incorporate electronic equipment, such as reloading of software, restoration of power, standard building systems, replacement of fire suppression systems, rewiring of the building.

7. Return to normal

During the Return to Normal phase, ease employees back into regular operations to make the transition smooth. You may need to hire and train new staff or retrain current employees. Consider creating a systematic return to your site.

8. Rest and Relax

It is important to offer time off to personnel for a respite and a recharge. Allowing for them to recover and rehabilitate personally will help them gain the clarity to focus on the future.

9. Re-evaluate and Re-document

After the disaster is passed, take the time to re-evaluate the situation by analyzing all data. Were your recovery efforts effective? How can you improve? Use this opportunity to improve upon future recovery efforts.

Keep a detailed log of any instance in which emergency procedures are implemented. When preparing, the final reports highlight any unique events or extraordinary responses. These reports will help with future disaster response or any legal proceedings.

Clean Fuels Associates has many years experience assisting Mission Critical Facilities with their Hurricane Preparedness Procedures to ensure the continuation of service during disasters. Contact us today for information on how we can help you.