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Preventative Measures to Follow Before a Hurricane Hits
In lieu of the recent destruction caused by Hurricane Irma, restaurant owners are in desperate need of a reminder – now more than ever – about the best practices, steps and methods to utilize while preparing their restaurants for a hurricane. Having a strict set of guidelines to follow in the chaotic and fearful times leading up to such a natural disaster will be the difference between a restaurant that survives, and a restaurant that is damaged beyond repair. Below are the best ways to prepare your restaurant for a hurricane.
Get Rid of Excess Food Supplies
If your restaurant is directly in the path of a hurricane, it’s especially important to take evacuation into consideration. When local or national government officials require citizens of a state to leave their homes and businesses behind, getting rid of all excess food is critical. Leaving it will only create more of a mess to clean up, and allows for potential and unnecessary rotting and mold. Either donate any excess food to a shelter or throw it out.
Establish Utility Damage Control
A restaurant simply cannot function without utilities. Unfortunately, such necessities are usually the first things to get destroyed when a hurricane hits. Water, electricity, sewage, trash services and telecommunications are among the most important ones to protect. Since these utilities likely will be disrupted at some point during or after the hurricane, restaurant owners must educate themselves on what to do when a prolonged outage occurs, or hire a professional to fix it.
Secure Every Inch of the Building
No corner of a restaurant should remain untouched when a hurricane is en route, as such a forceful storm can negatively impact every area of the building. Basic security prevention includes, but is not limited to, boarding up windows, unplugging appliances and electronics, and placing sandbags at entrances to limit the amount of flooding. Restaurant owners also should remove any signage outside of their establishment, move merchandise that is near any windows and cover equipment with heavy plastic sheets.
Review Your Restaurant Property Insurance Plan
Hurricanes, severe tropical storms and other natural disasters are three big examples that demonstrate exactly why every food establishment needs restaurant property insurance. Reviewing your own restaurant’s property insurance plan with your restaurant insurance agency must be done well enough in advance, so that you can be sure each component is set in place and paid for. Necessary property insurance for restaurant owners to obtain before a hurricane includes building coverage, food service equipment coverage, businesses interruption insurance and spoil coverage.
Discuss a Plan with Employees
In addition to the actual building itself, employees also must be strongly factored into the hurricane preparation process for restaurant owners. If you cannot carry out all of the duties yourself, designating an employee or a small group of employees to assist with the hurricane preparation is very important. Since safety is always the number one priority, an employee alert roster should be created. This roster will notify employees that the hurricane plan is starting, and keeps track of their status during and after the hurricane.
Store Important Documents in a Safe Place
With everything else going on, it might not be the first thing a restaurant owner considers. But making sure that all of the business’ confidential records and important documents are sent to a safe place for proper storage is key during the hurricane preparation time frame. From tax records to personal employee information, papers should be filed away neatly and in a completely safe place, free from the possibility of destruction.
Protect Your Restaurant from Extreme, Hurricane-Induced Harm
Even though a hurricane only travels through an area for a period of time, its impact on your restaurant could be long-lasting and life-changing. Following an all-inclusive hurricane preparation checklist means that your restaurant is receiving the best possible care, and will reduce the chances of the business shutting down after a hurricane hits. For restaurant property insurance quotes that will help greatly during a hurricane, contact Restaurant Programs of America by calling 866-577-7007.