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Preparing Your Business Before An Emergency Happens
Review These Tips To Be Ready For An Emergency
Article from the Public Service Enterprise Group Long Island (PSEGLINY) Website:
When planning for severe weather, remember that not all weather events or other emergencies allow for time to prepare. That’s why the time to prepare is now.
- If an evacuation order is issued, you’ll need to know how you will communicate with your employees. Make sure their contact information is up-to-date.
- Locate the evacuation route closest to your business.
- Provide your employees with enough time to secure their homes and gather supplies.
- Make sure you and your employees have a way to communicate to advise them on whether they should come to work following the passing of a major storm.
- Make sure all employees are accounted for after evacuation and designate someone to contact employees’ family and friends.
- Establish pre-arranged meeting points in case telephone and cell phone communication is cut off.
- Make sure to include in your plans customers and contractors who may visit your facility or utilize your products or services.
- Repair any loose roofing and siding.
- Trim dead or broken branches from trees near your facility.
- Move equipment away from windows and unplug electronics to protect from potential power surges.
- Purchase materials such as plywood panels, aluminum or plastic shutters, and plastic sheeting to protect windows and doors.
- The street number of your address should be clearly marked.
- Check your disaster supplies kit and obtain any items you need for the office, such as a battery-powered National Weather Service weather alert radio.
- All work trailers and most warehouse/storage facilities are extremely vulnerable to hurricane-force winds, regardless of location.
- Consider installing a standby emergencygenerator and that it is properly installed by a licensed electrician, or if you already have one, make sure it is tested and the fuel is topped off.
- Plan ahead and you may be able to establish an alternative work site if your facility were to become severely damaged or inaccessible.
- Create a business continuity plan
- Review your insurance policies and compile an inventory of your property, which can easily be done with photographs and video recordings.
- Add Business Interruption Insurance to your policy and purchase Flood Insurance.
- Important documents and computer files/data should have back ups stored in a fireproof safe off the premises.
- Prepare a list of disaster recovery services vendors.
Once the storm passes, be patient. Make the safety of your family, home, and employees your top priority. Return to your workplace only after it is safe to travel. Then you can take an inventory of any losses.
Have an Emergency Communications Plan
Find out what kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made, are most likely to occur on Long Island and how you will be notified. Methods of getting your attention vary from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or emergency workers may go door-to-door.
- Call the closest chapter of the American Red Cross for emergency information that applies to your community.
- Be prepared to assess the situation, use common sense and whatever you have on hand to take care of yourself and your loved ones.
- Depending on your circumstances, the first important decision is deciding whether to stay or go. You should understand and plan for both possibilities.
Develop a Communications Plan
Be sure you have an emergency preparedness plan and a building evacuation plan that is regularly practiced.
- Review and practice it with your employee community. Take a critical look at your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system to determine if it is secure, and be sure you know how to turn it off if you need to. Think about what to do if your employees can’t go home. Make sure you have appropriate supplies on hand.
- Sharing plans and communicating in advance is a good strategy.
Deciding to Stay or Go
In any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should monitor TV or radio news reports for information or official instructions as they become available. If you’re specifically told to evacuate or seek medical treatment, do so immediately.
There are circumstances when staying put makes the best sense. Some emergencies are short lived, and your advance preparations can make the situation safe and fairly comfortable.
There may be conditions under which you will decide to get away, or there may be situations when you are ordered to leave. Plan in advance how you will assemble your workers and anticipate where you will go.
Emergency Response Resources
The best means to receive warnings is from the National Weather Service. It continuously broadcasts updated severe weather advisories that can be received by NOAA Weather Radios sold in many stores.
- National Hurricane Center http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
- National Weather Service http://www.nws.noaa.gov/
- National Weather Service at Brookhaven National Labs http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/okx/
- Weather Radio Online Feed for Riverhead (WXM80): 162.475 MHZ http://www.roanokevalleyweather.com/noaawxradio/noaastreaming.php?rank=1&call=WXM80
- Weather Radio Online Feed for New York City (KWO35): 162.550 MHZ http://www.roanokevalleyweather.com/noaawxradio/noaastreaming.php?rank=1&call=KWO35
American Red Cross
- American Red Cross: 1-877-733-2767 http://www.nyredcross.org/
- American Red Cross: Nassau County: (516) 747-3500 http://www.nyredcross.org/?nd=long_island
- American Red Cross: Suffolk County: (631) 924-6700 http://suffolkcounty.redcross.org/
Emergency Preparedness and Response
- NYS Emergency Management Office: (518) 292-2200 http://www.semo.state.ny.us/
- NYC Emergency Management Office: (718) 422-4800 http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/home.html
- Nassau County Emergency Mgmt Office: (516) 573-0636 http://www.co.nassau.ny.us/OEM/home.html
- Suffolk County Fire Rescue & Emergency Services: (631) 852-4900 http://www.co.suffolk.ny.us/
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): 1-800-621-FEMA http://www.fema.gov/
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security: 1-800-BE-READY http://www.ready.gov/
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 1-800-311-3435 http://www.cdc.gov/
- U.S.Department of Energy: 1-800-DIAL DOE (1-800-342-5363) http://www.energy.gov/
READY.GOV: From the United States Department of Homeland Security http://www.ready.gov/
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