Hurricane season is here. As I write this, Hurricane Florence is hurtling toward Georgia and the Carolinas; and this storm promises to have a big impact. All of us at Kuali are are thinking of the communities and institutions that will be impacted. We’re confident in the professionalism and preparedness of the emergency managers in the path of this storm.

If your school is farther inland and has more time, these precautionary activities should be considered, and completed, for you to be ready. (Note: these activities should be a coordinated effort of multiple departments, i.e., business continuity and/or emergency management, facilities, security, HR, Legal, etc.)

  • Review property insurance with your insurance agent to discuss adequate hazard, flood, and business interruption insurance.
  • Establish written hurricane procedures for protecting employees and students, including planning what to do and where to go in case of evacuation.
  • Establish written procedures for protecting business property and its contents.
  • If yours is a research university, ensure all planning addresses care for the lab animals, and protection of research specimens.
  • Specify a timeline for when the hurricane procedures will be implemented, and train employees on the procedures. Determine what emergency equipment and supplies are necessary (e.g. heavy plastic sheeting, duct tape, masking tape, sandbags, emergency generator with a gas supply, storm shutters, chain saw, plywood, and hand tools).
  • Designate an individual (or team) with an alternate who will coordinate the implementation of the hurricane procedures.
  • Establish an employee alert roster, which will be used to notify employees that your hurricane plan has been activated. The alert roster will also be used to check on the status of employees during and after the hurricane.
  • Establish plans for protecting computers, files, and documents; make multiple backup files and store data in alternate, safe locations.
  • If necessary, develop a system for identification of employees (e.g. emergency vests with university name and logo, ID cards, vehicle permits, or badges).
  • Establish an emergency communication line to be used by employees, students, and their families to obtain status reports and information pertaining to available assistance.
  • Stock a portable radio and flashlights with extra batteries.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the communities that will be impacted by Hurricane Florence.

Author Terri Eikenbary

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