Hurricane Matthew – Start Planning for Recovery Now
As Hurricane Matthew pushes out to sea, it is time for businesses and organizations to start preparing for recovery after the storm. If you evacuated it is important that you await word from public officials (State, County, and/or Municipal) regarding re-entry. Even if you have pre-registered for early re-entry with a County and/or Municipality, you must await authorization for re-entry. While it can be frustrating awaiting approval to return, there are a number of important considerations and issues to consider in the meantime. Now is the time to carefully consider your recovery plans for each of the following issues:
- Damage Assessment Teams – Who is included on this team and what do they need to do upon return? Do they have proper re-entry credentials? What will they need to bring with them to be self-sufficient upon return? Where will they stay/sleep? How will they communicate if power, internet, voice lines are down?
- Communications – What messages needs to be communicated to your staff, customers, and other stakeholders? Develop a rhythm/schedule of proactive communications.
- Finance/Insurance – Contact your agent(s) now to verify the procedure for submitting a claim if necessary. What documentation will you need? What is the procedure? How long could it take to see the first check? Develop a procedure to document daily the actions and decisions you make throughout the recovery phase.
- Staffing – Consider the staff impacts on your operations when they are allowed to return. Once your staff can check on the damage to their homes, they will have a long list of personal priorities and issues that could impact their availability to work. Develop a plan for staffing back-ups and/or alternating shifts to allow staff to balance work/personal priorities.
- Technology – Confirm plans to remain connected if power, internet, and phones are not working when you return. You may need to keep key staff in an inland area where they can work until these utilities are restored.
Additionally, be wary of all sorts of scams, including the phishing scam that the South Carolina Governor described this morning in her press conference (i.e., fake emails offering power outage information). There are likely to be many types of scams in the days ahead, including email, internet, and in person. Verify the authenticity of all inbound communications and offers to help. Don’t click on anything out of curiosity – think before you click. Our friends at PhishLabs are investigating the source of these email scams from the hurricane. Click here for more info on how to report suspicious emails.
Twitter remains an excellent source of information, especially if you follow trusted accounts from government authorities, public utilities, etc. Be on guard for false rumors and inaccurate information in the days ahead.
Recovery is the critical phase of this storm and it will require your focus on the important priorities for your organization. The time and effort you spend now to plan for an effective recovery will pay off in the days and weeks ahead.
Please contact us if you need any help. We stand ready to assist you.
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