Preparation is better than Rehabilitation.
Below are few tips to make you storm/cyclone ready.
Businesses should have information available for the following:
- List of employee contact details
- Emergency services contacts (who can warn about dangerous weather, road conditions and closures)
- List of customer and supplier details
- Product lists and specifications
- Latest stock and equipment inventory
Computer and IT Equipment
- All Computers and printers turned off
- If possible, keep your hardware turned off during electrical storms to prevent surges and strikes surging your equipment. There have been cases of electrical thunderstorms causing surge through telephone or electrical equipment and destroying it because of the physical connections it has with each other.
- Server and UPS turned off
- We suggest that all businesses and home offices should have uninterrupted power supplies (UPSs) protecting your server and surge protectors protecting your computers, modems and phones. By using a UPSs, it enables a safe shutdown should power be lost and can prevent data loss and corruption.
Back up vital documents, reports and data
- Backup of all important files
- Important documents and reports such as insurance policies and financial/banking records should be scanned and saved onto a memory stick or external drive. All computer data needs to be backed up as well – consider investing in cloud storage for this.
- To be prepared for any event, whether it is a storm or not, it is important to have backups. We suggest having multiple copies on different locations (such as in the office and one at home). You may also consider cloud-based servers to host backups.
- Charge your devices
- If you do lose power and you need to use technology to remain in touch, ensure you have sufficient power by charging the devices prior to the storm should you require them to remain connected. This may include your laptop, tablet, WiFi modem, mobile phone or other devices. You may also wish to consider buying extra batteries or USB power packs to charge them as required. Where possible, try to save charge on the devices by turning off unnecessary features and not using battery heavy applications such as videos and maps.
Prepare the right equipment
Businesses should have all of the following equipment accessible during storm season:
- First aid kit and manual
- Battery powered radio and spare batteries
- Phone and photographic/video devices (to help make insurance claims)
- Personal protective equipment (e.g. gloves, masks, safety glasses)
- Waterproof bags (for valuables)
Have an evacuation plan
In case a natural disaster occurs during business hours, an evacuation plan is required. Without a pre-organised procedure, confusion and panic can set in and put you and your employees in even more danger. In order to develop an evacuation plan, the Queensland Government suggests these key steps:
- Create a clear chain of command. Decide who is responsible for authorising an evacuation.
- Decide what circumstances would trigger an evacuation.
- Prepare primary and secondary evacuation routes and exits and create floor plans that feature these. Post these in conspicuous places.
- Develop procedures for dealing with any hazardous materials or shutting down critical operations.
- Make regular drills part of your business to help familiarise staff.
We hope you keep safe in the cyclones and storms and that these tips will be beneficial. If you have any queries or would like to know more about being prepared, please feel free to contact us at 07 4944 0111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.