Preparing, Responding and Recovering from a Natural Disaster

By North Central Electric,

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preparing for a natural disasterWhile no workplace is completely immune from the effects of a disaster, preparing for one can help ease the fear, anxiety, and losses that can occur once it strikes. A natural disaster, like a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or wildfire, can force businesses to close—sometimes temporarily and sometimes forever. Having a natural disaster recovery plan in place can help mitigate the impact a disaster can have on your facility and get you back up and running in no time. The electrical contractors of NCE are sharing some smart tips on natural disaster preparation and how your facility can best recover.

Preparing for a Natural Disaster

If you live somewhere where tornadoes, hurricanes, or flooding are common, chances are you prepare for approaching storms by storing extra supplies like food, water, and flashlights, having an evacuation plan, and writing down and storing emergency contact information. Your facility will want to follow a similar approach. To adequately prepare for the impending natural disaster, you should:

  • Create a formal natural disaster recovery plan – this plan should be available to all employees and include how your facility will respond to emergencies. The plan should include where you will temporarily be relocating, how important documents will be protected, and how to recover the IT infrastructure if it is damaged or lost. 
  • Delegate responsibilities – assign responsibilities to appropriate employees and offer them training. It’s also a smart idea to conduct drills with your employees so everyone is prepared. 
  • Store emergency supplies – create a safe space that everyone can access and store flashlights, batteries, non-perishable food, water, and a first-aid kit. 
  • Ensure key information is safe – it’s a good idea to back-up all data and store any private, personal, or confidential files offsite. Having copies of insurance policies, banking information, and important phone numbers can help you quickly get your business restored after the natural disaster has passed. 
  • Stabilize electrical equipment – the equipment that keeps your building running (literally) like backup generators, transformers, batteries, cables, and motors should be stabilized and protected as best as you can. 

Responding to a Natural Disaster

In the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster, the second phase of the disaster management cycle begins, called disaster response. The goal of emergency response is to provide immediate assistance where you can. This includes such things as supplying aid, assisting with transport, providing temporary shelter, and distributing food and water to anyone affected. Disaster response measures for your facility should include:

  • Securing your building
  • Making temporary repairs
  • Moving salvageable furniture and equipment
  • Inspecting the interior and exterior of your building
  • Contacting your insurance company

Recovering from a Natural Disaster

After your facility is secured, it’s time to focus on reopening and operating your business once again from a safe location. If your property has been damaged, a temporary location may need to be set up. If your business can operate out of your home, you’ll need to establish how you, your employees, and your vendors and customers can communicate with you. Once your temporary location is established and communication is settled, you’ll want to file a property claim and a business interruption insurance claim if applicable to your facility. Once you can safely return to your facility, it’s a smart idea to call in an expert for a thorough examination of your electrical equipment to ensure everything is operating normally. 

Did you know that over 40% of businesses do not reopen after a disaster strikes and another 25% fail within the year? Establishing a natural disaster recovery plan can keep you and your employees safe in the event of an emergency and provide you with a quick turnaround time to ensure your facility is back up and running in no time. The experts at NCE are here to help you if a disaster strikes your facility. Contact us today for all your electrical equipment maintenance and testing needs.