The Philippines is battered by an average of 20 typhoons each year. Just imagine how much damage that makes on small and medium businesses that brave the storms unprepared. Here are tips from the Florida Power and Light Company and the government of Queensland--both from areas that also suffer from storms annually--on how entrepreneurs can prepare for typhoons.
1. Make sure you and your staff is constantly updated with the developments on the approaching storm. You may get real-time updates from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) via Twitter and Facebook.
2. Check your stock and equipment and make sure that there is enough supply at hand so business may continue immediately in case the storm damages some of your in-store supply.
3. Identify the equipment of your business and when you plan to relocate it or other ways that the equipment can be protected.
4. Before the storm arrives, make sure you have trimmed tree branches hanging over your roof, rolled up billboards, cleared your property of any loose items that may blow about, and that the gutter and downpipes have also been cleared of debris.
5. Resort owners should turn off all swimming pool pumps and filters, and wrap them in waterproof materials.
6. If you are in the restaurant business, your should turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings ahead of time to keep food fresh longer in the event of a power outage.
7. Ask your insurance agent if there is adequate insurance to cover you in the event of a storm. Contact your insurance company to check if there are any specific preparations you need to make prior to the event.
8. Make sure that critical documents like business permits, receipts, inventories and other records are stored in portable waterproof container that can easily be located should the need for an evacuation arise. For electronic documents, make sure that your data has been backed up in a portable storage device and store it in a secure location.
9. If your roof or windows leak, water in your walls and ceiling may come into contact with electrical wiring. Immediately turn off your circuit breakers, disconnect all electrical appliances that are still plugged in, and turn off all wall switches. Remember, never stand in water while operating switches or unplugging any electrical device.
10. To ensure the continuity of your business, make sure that you have developed your business continuity plan and have clearly identified and analyzed the possible risks to your business from storm damage. Make sure that your plan is constantly updated and tested. A copy of the business continuity plan should be stored in an off-site, safe, disaster-proof location.