hurricane damage

Hurricane Season is starting. We see news about tornadoes in the Heartland and wildfires in California. Is your family prepared? How about your business?  Please share this with your family and business associates.

____ Family Communications Plan – write down critical cell and landline numbers in case your phone dies; know where you will meet if cell towers and landline phones go out; designate an out-of-area relative everyone should contact if they can’t reach each other

____ Cell phones – text messages use less battery and get through when calls can’t; external batteries are available to keep your cell phone powered when the internal battery dies; pack your car charger and home charger if you evacuate; extend your battery by turning off wi-fi and other services you aren’t using; solar chargers will work when power is out for extended periods

____ Computers—back up critical data onto external hard drives, thumb drives, or online services; if you have to evacuate take critical equipment with you or seal it in garbage bags to protect against water damage

____ Water – Buy water or fill pots and pitchers with drinking water – 1 gallon per day per person; water systems may be contaminated and unsafe for drinking; camping stores and outdoor outfitters sell water purification devices

____ Food – non-perishable food you don’t have to cook

____ Cash—credit cards won’t work if power and communications go down. Withdraw $ 200 - $ 300 so you can make cash purchases

____ Automobile—fill your gas tank when you first hear a warning; gas pumps won’t work if power fails

____ Generators — plan your needs to be sure you can power heating, refrigerators, lights, and television for 3-4 days of continuous running; store enough gasoline in safe containers with fuel stabilizer; turn generator off for maximum use but enough to keep food cold; buy a siphon to ‘borrow’ fuel from cars and mowers

____ Evacuation – have a backpack or overnight bag with clothes, medications, sweatshirt and sweatpants; extra glasses, personal hygiene supplies; energy bars; emergency blankets (look in the camping supply areas of sporting goods or department stores); follow instructions to shut off water, gas, and electricity before you leave

____ Hand-crank weather radio – these also charge cell phones through a USB cable. Purchase one at Lowes, Home Depot, Sam’s, Costco, or Wal-mart. Make sure the radio has SAME alerting so you will only receive alerts for your local area.

____ Batteries – enough for flashlights, lanterns, radios (remember the lights were out after SuperStorm Sandy for 2 weeks)

____ LED lanterns—no need for fuel or mantles; safer than candles; some lanterns come with removable LED flashlights

____ Common Sense – evacuate if your local government issues an order; don’t drive through flooded streets; stay away from downed wires

____ Don’t panic -- keep your cool for your own safety and your family’s


Mike Semel is a Certified Business Continuity Professional. Semel Consulting has helped hundreds of businesses create effective Business Continuity plans that have helped them survive SuperStorm Sandy, the Joplin tornado, and many small disasters and business interruptions you never heard of. For help creating your plan, contact Semel Consulting.