June 1 marks the beginning of the annual Atlantic hurricane season, which lasts until November 30. The good news for West Palm Beach businesses and residents – forecasters are predicting a relatively mild hurricane season with only 11 named storms, including five hurricanes, two of which are expected to attain major hurricane status (Category 3 or stronger).
The bad news is that just one major storm striking South Florida can deal a devastating blow to your business – before, during and after the storm. Here are several precautions to take now to storm-proof your company:
- Be informed. Learn all you can about the season, alerts and risks through local news, weather and emergency response resources. Here’s one handy website.
- Stock up on necessities sooner rather than later. That includes LED flashlights or lamps, wind-up radios, water supplies in reusable containers, and plenty of batteries.
- Be prepared. Have your landscaper cut down old or overhanging tree limbs around your place of work. Have maintenance clean gutters, fix leaks and make any other relevant repairs. If you have solar panels or a rainwater harvesting system, make sure they are secure and ready in case of emergency.
- Stay tuned. Monitor the weather by listening to news reports and heed all warnings. Also ensure that your company has a hurricane preparedness program and, if necessary, an evacuation plan.
- Use technology to your advantage. You can download storm tracking, radio and other applications to your Smartphone. You can also follow early warning resources on Facebook and/or Twitter. Also, be sure to backup your company’s computer files in case disaster strikes.
With any luck, South Florida will once again get through the 2014 Hurricane Season unscathed. But it’s better to be safe than sorry, so be prepared!