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Hurricane safety tips for the home and office


Jul 9, 2013, 5:00pm EDT    Reporter- South Florida Business Journal

Hurricane safety tips for the home and office


Safety is always important – especially during storm season. Here are some practical tips on how to make your workplace, homes and families as safe as possible. Take a moment to review these tips and put them to use.

At the office

The best time to think about safety and preparation is before hurricane season begins.

Plan ahead:

• Create a communication plan with your employees, including pre-arranged meeting points in case of telephone or cell phone outages.

• Review your insurance coverage with your insurance agent. Give your agent appropriate emergency contact information.

• Photograph or videotape your building or office – inside and outside – before a hurricane. Keep these records off premises.

• Prepare for your short-term and long-term energy needs. Consider installing a generator if necessary.

• Prepare a list of vendors to provide disaster recovery services.

Before the storm hits:

• Ensure your employees’ contact information is up-to date and that you have a plan in place to communicate after the storm passes.

• Make multiple back-ups of computer files and data, and store records off premises. Turn off all computers and cover them with plastic bags.

• Move items away from the windows.

• Park vehicles in safe, protected areas such as a covered garage.

• Record a special voice mail containing your phone and/or pager number(s) so employees and customers can reach you.

• Be sure, cell phones, tablets laptop computers and other electronics have new batteries.

• Lock drawers and file cabinets.

• Unplug all lamps, radios and equipment in case of a power surge.

• Close your offices in sufficient time to allow employees to secure their homes, obtain supplies and evacuate if necessary.

At home

Implementing safety procedures at home is especially important.

Plan ahead:

• Develop an emergency plan including evacuation routes, special medical needs, important phone numbers, and a supply list.

• Decide in advance on a safe space to ride out the storm if you stay at home during a hurricane. The best locations are large interior closets, bathrooms or hallways with no windows.

• Have a battery-operated radio, multiple flashlights, and a battery-operated fan along with extra batteries in the event of a power outage.

Before the storm hits:

• Review your emergency plan with your family.

• Turn off and unplug any non-essential electrical equipment.

• Keep food fresh in the event of a power outage by turning refrigerators and freezers to their coldest settings ahead of time.

• Continue to monitor storm conditions should your power go out by listening to your local news on a battery-powered radio for regular updates from FPL.

• Put important documents in a waterproof container.

• Photograph or videotape your home – inside and outside – before a hurricane.

After the storm

In addition to reducing personal injuries and physical damage, post-storm safety measures can make recovery faster and easier.

Post-storm safety tips for work and home:

• Be patient. Make the safety of your family and home your top priority. Do not return to your workplace until it’s safe to travel.

• Always stay away from fallen wires, flooded areas and debris.

• Make emergency repairs only if and when it is safe to do so. Repairs that prevent looting or further damage should have top priority.

• Follow safe operating procedures for portable generators. Review the manufacturer’s guide before operating. Never run one inside your home.

• Take inventory to determine and record losses (documents, equipment, etc.).

• Photograph or videotape your building, office or home – inside and outside – after a hurricane.

More Information

Stay safe before, during and after a storm. For more storm and safety tips, visit

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