Wait. When hurricane season is months away, why read an article in the wintertime about disaster services in Columbia, SC? We’re taking a look now because how fast a company or family can bounce back from a hurricane depends on how much planning they’ve done in advance. The earlier you start, the better off you’ll be.
Let’s start with IT prep. You might think this only applies to companies, but what if your computer and backup drive are in the same place and both get destroyed? A residence may not have millions of records on which thousands of customers depend, but your work in progress, your memorabilia, and your plans need protection. Where can you store a backup offsite? And what’s the plan if you do lose computer hardware? It’s worth having that thought through ahead of time.
Second, how long can you go without power? What’s the plan when an outage exceeds that limit? Do you need a generator? If you already have one, is it in working order? Do you have gas stored securely in case the local gas stations are out of power or out of gas? In short, how fast can you get that generator up and running? Fixing one in the dark is not a good plan.
Third, think protection. How will you protect your home and what supplies do you need ahead of time? Running to the hardware store in the middle of a hurricane warning is something to avoid – if you can.
Fourth, practice. Spend an hour running through prep for a hurricane and what you will be doing when the wind blows and in the aftermath. This will uncover gaps in the planning. More important, practice as a family or company together, so everyone knows the plan, knows where to meet, etc. Getting feedback from participants not only improves the plan, it creates engagement – people are invested in doing this well. Repeat this periodically to ingrain the plan in everyone’s memory.
Lastly, as the Ghostbusters movie put it, who you gonna call? Have a list of emergency numbers and friends in your cell phone and a plan to call friends if you need a place to stay and professionals to handle insurance and storm damage. And for disaster services in Columbia specifically, make sure Catastrophe Services are on your list: 800-952-6106.