There's always a lot of questions when it comes to predicting a pending hurricane season. Will this be a heavy or light season? How many named storms are expected? What are the chances that a storm will hit Louisiana? If a storm does hit the state, what's the potential damage? For Louisiana's low-lying parishes and towns -- such as Houma, LA -- what's the risk to floods and other storm damage?
At just 12 feet above sea level and surrounded by swamps, the area is easily susceptible to flooding. And, with nearly 4,000 business in Houma and the surrounding parish, there's the potential for a lot of lost revenue -- or more -- if and when a hurricane blows through the area.
In addition to maintaining the proper insurance -- especially flood -- there are other steps businesses in Terrebonne Parish should take in preparation for the inevitable. Here's four steps business owners should take before it's too late.
- Inventory the risks. Be it natural -- flooding, tornado, or fire -- or man-made (theft), risks are plenty. However, you can't prepare if you don't asses the potential risks.
- Identify recovery options. Beyond making sure you maintain adequate insurance, identify potential loses and what steps you'll need to take to get your business doors back open. Do you have a backup of computer data and financial records? Do you have a list of contractors to call to repair any damage? How soon can inventory be replaced?
- Prevention is an option too. If tragedy is pending, preventing or limiting the damage should be planned in advance. Generators can keep the lights on, but what can you do to prevent or limit flood damage? Once you've identified the risks, take the steps to limit the potential damage.
- Test the plan. Make sure your employees know their roles in the event of an emergency. Test backup systems. Maintain contact with your insurance company, suppliers and contractors.
While we may not be able to prevent a catastrophe, we can do our best to prepare for such an event. Hoping that something doesn't happen is not a plan.
ServiceMaster Quality Services of Houma offers commercial disaster recovery planning services for large and small businesses. Contact us if your business has questions on preparing ahead for unseen events.