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Wouldn’t it be lovely to be prepared? 

ORLANDO, Fla.—As the Hurricane Season begins, it is important for businesses to spend some time in getting well prepared. By taking the initiative to start planning early, you are one step ahead with a plan that will have you ready in the event of a disaster. While securing plans for your home and loved ones, take some time to focus on the future of your business or work place. Forty percent of small businesses that close due to hurricane damage do not reopen. In order to prevent your business from being another statistic, it is critical to prepare now. Businesses in inland places rarely hit by hurricanes should do at least basic planning. As Irma moved north, it hit cities like Atlanta, even hundreds of miles away from the ocean.

It is important that you purchase ahead of time the equipment and supplies necessary to protect and possibly repair your property in the event disaster strikes. Keep equipment and tools in an easily accessible place. Personal supplies that may be needed by you or your employees (i.e., water, food, cooking supplies, and first aid kits) during an evacuation or during the recovery period, should be stored in an easy-to-carry container.

-Heavy plastic sheeting 
-Duct tape 
-Masking tape 
-Emergency generator 
-Storm shutters 
-Chain saw 
-Large pieces of plywood 
-Hand tools 
-Cellular phone, battery charger, and automobile adapter 
-Hurricane Survival Guide 
-Employees are one of the most valued business assets. For this reason, employees should be encouraged to prepare and plan for hurricane season. Owners who want to shelter employees on their premises if necessary should stock up on water and food that doesn’t need refrigeration, flashlights, bedding and battery-operated radios and cellphone chargers.

Protect The Property
-Invest in and install shutters or plywood in order to protect windows and doors from wind borne-debris.
-Have the roof of your building evaluated to ensure it can withstand a storm.
-Remove any branches or trees adjacent to your building that could potentially fall and damage it.
-Sandbag any area that is subject to flooding.
-Anchor and brace any large furniture (bookcases, shelves, filing cabinets) to wall studs.
-Relocate any valuable or fragile possessions.
-Secure all utilities including water heaters, gas tanks, and heaters and if necessary, raise them to higher locations to avoid water damages.
-Secure electronics such as computers and other office equipment with straps or Velcro.
Turn off all the utilities prior to a hurricane making landfall if possible.

Secure Important Documents 
-Designate important contacts to save that are crucial to business operations, such as employees, banks, lawyers, accountants, suppliers, etc.
-Back-up documents that are not easily produced such as insurance documents, legal contracts, tax returns, and accounting statements to avoid water damage.
-Seal these documents in waterproof containers onsite.
-Save all your designated contacts and documents in an alternate, accessible off-site location.

Maintain A Checklist
The below items should be gathered in one location at your place of business should a storm hit while you are on premises. This will help protect the safety of your employees should disaster strike during regular working hours and without ample notice.

-Battery operated radio or television
-Non-perishable three day food supply for you and your employees
-Three day supply of water for you and your employees (One gallon of water per person, per day)
-Coolers and containers for water and washing
-Blankets, pillows, cots, and chairs
-First Aid Kit and first aid manual
-Flashlights, batteries, light-sticks
-Tool kit (basic tools, gloves, etc.)
-Camera and film for documenting damages
-Whistle/signal flare to signal for help
-Tarps, plastic bags, duct tape
-Cleaning supplies, including mops, towels and garbage cans
-Smoke alarms and fire extinguishers
-Electric generator
-Gas for vehicles, generators and other equipment
-Cash, ATM cards, credit cards proper identification

Emergency contact information such as the nearest hospital and police, along with:
Small Business Administration (SBA): 1-800-359-2227
FEMA Tele-registration hot-line: 1-800-462-9029
Garzor Insurance (321) 206-8035

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