Here in Michigan, many like to say the weather can drastically change by the hour. And while it’s smart to plan for sudden rain or change in temperature, it’s important to prepare ourselves and our businesses for when larger weather phenomena strike.

Recently, Michigan withstood a historic windstorm that affected countless homes and businesses across the state. Following this disaster, we’re able to better plan and prepare for what comes next. These five tips can help best prepare your business for severe weather.

  1. Identify and plan: While we’re likely safe from monsoons and earthquakes here in the Great Lakes State, it’s not uncommon for there to be fires, tornadoes, blizzards, floods and many other types of severe weather. Creating a plan to determine the safest ways to react to different situations should be the first step for protecting your business and colleagues. Consider printing out an emergency preparedness plan that employees can keep at their desks and in communal spaces.
  1. Stay in communication: Severe weather can happen any time, especially when we’re not actually in the workplace. Create a call-down list or phone tree for employees to communicate with each other when the office is inaccessible, has lost power or if there’s a need to evacuate. If your business has clients, determine who will contact them as well.
  1. Stock up on the essentials: Sometimes it’s safer to stay at the office after working hours to avoid facing the unpredictable and sometimes dangerous weather outside. Emergency items such as flashlights, first-aid kits, drinking water, food and external batteries for electronics should be kept on-hand for situations keeping employees indoors. A few board games to break up the boredom can’t hurt, either. If there’s a chance you could be staying put for an unforeseen amount of time, call the local authorities and let them know your plan and where you are.
  1. Protect your data: Unfortunately, weather can wreak havoc on the physical space we work in causing irreparable damage. In the case that your employees can’t get to the office, or if a new temporary workspace may be needed altogether, be sure your files and data are saved to an external source such as a cloud storage system so no data is lost.
  1. Have standby power: Whether we like it or not, electric lines are vulnerable during storms. Having a backup power source such as a generator can not only keep your business functioning but could also be the difference between stumbling in the dark and being able to stay calm and devise a plan. You can read more about generator safety here.

Natural disasters and severe weather can happen anywhere at any time. This approach can help you protect your business and keep a sense of calm in an emergency while at the office or at home.

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