The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) outlook for the 2014 hurricane season calls for eight to 13 named tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean. Among those, NOAA predicted three to six hurricanes, including one to two major hurricanes with Category 3 winds or higher. In the Eastern Pacific Ocean, NOAA predicts 14 to 20 named storms, which includes seven to 11 hurricanes, of which three to six are expected to become major hurricanes.
I hope Barbados and our Caribbean neighbours continue to be fortunate and avoid any major storms, but we can ill afford to be complacent. It only takes one severe storm at the wrong place and wrong time to cause a catastrophic event, Superstorm Sandy, in 2012, was one of the costliest in US history. In 1992, only nine tropical events took place, yet collectively, those storms caused $26.5 billion in damage. For the sake of our families, businesses and country we need to ensure we plan ahead of the situation before it arises.
What should your business be doing now?
- Assemble your Emergency Response Team representing by all major business sectors/departments, designate authorities and responsibilities.
- Review your hurricane, disaster and business continuity plans. If you do not have such a plan it is imperative that you develop one, especially if you will self-insuring any property or interruption losses. Create checklists for each segment/authority.
- Decide with key personnel the various alert levels and when you will initiate business shut down procedures.
- Ensure contact information for staff, disaster response agencies, emergency services, utilities, key vendors, suppliers and customers is up to date.
- Determine an alternative operating centre and/or backup facilities, negotiate agreements to share facilities with similar plants, to ensure business disruption is minimal.
- Assess the potential for disrupted communications on your processes, supply your Emergency Response Team with any necessary communications equipment, mobile or satellite phones, short wave radios, walkie taklies or otherwise
- Ensure computer data, electronic filing, customer relationship information, payroll, receivables is backed up and stored off site or otherwise replicated. Keep hard copies of critical information as well.
- Maintenance teams check facilities check building(s) for defects, organizes a materials checklist for rapid response to damages, purchases needed material and effects protections
- Review insurance policies for gaps in coverage, update sums insured based on form of cover, plan to fund any deductibles. Talk to your Lynch broker/insurer about our claims procedures, response plans, pre-identify key claims personnel and loss adjusters that will respond and note their contact information. Keep policies in a safe place.
Find out more read our Risk Viewpoint - Managing Hurricane Losses.
Other Great Resources:
Our colleagues at Marsh Disaster Recovery
Calm Before the Storm – XL Global
PartnerRe’s Windstorm Research App
Contact me for more information. Phone: (246) 426-5062 or E-mail: email@example.com
At Lynch our team stands ready to assist you in evaluating and analyzing your tropical storm/hurricane exposures and to help you minimize the impact a storm could have on your operations by advising on:
- Insurance coverage
- Business recovery services.
- Risk retention and transfer strategies.
- Emergency response planning and crisis management.
- Industry-leading probabilistic analysis for loss estimate based on your risk appetite.
Contact us at 246-426-5062; firstname.lastname@example.org or www.lynchbrokers.com