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Is your business prepared for a disaster?

Published: 10/05/2017

While you might personally have a plan for you and your family, have you thought about how you can help your business prepare for a disaster? Since its still hurricane season, we thought we’d share some tips on how you can prepare your business for a hurricane.

Hurricanes pose a serious threat to Entergy’s system and our customers. Low-lying areas along the Gulf of Mexico are obviously vulnerable, but inland areas hundreds of miles from the coast can also suffer the high winds and flood damage of a hurricane. Preparation and careful planning can help you and your business face the challenges hurricanes pose.

Stay Hurricane Aware

As you consider your business’ response to a potential hurricane, you should be aware of the system’s current stage of development.

The first stage of development is called a tropical disturbance, a tropical weather system generally 100 to 300 nautical miles in diameter and maintaining its identity for 24 hours or more.

The second stage of development is called a tropical depression. This is a system of very dark, disturbed and stormy weather with sustained winds of 38 mph or less.

The third stage of development before becoming a hurricane is called a tropical storm. This is an organized weather system of strong thunderstorms with a distinct circulation. The maximum sustained winds are 39-74 mph. As the tropical storm’s sustained winds increase to 75 mph or higher, the characteristic “eye” wall at the center of the circulation appears, thus signaling the formation of a hurricane.

Watch vs. Warning

A hurricane watch means a hurricane is possible in your area within 36 hours. Be prepared to evacuate. Monitor local radio and television news outlets or listen to NOAA weather radio for the latest developments.

A hurricane warning is when a hurricane is expected in your area. You should leave the area if local authorities advise you to evacuate.

Prepare your business

While many of us consider preparing our homes in the event of a hurricane, do you have a plan for preparing your business location? Your business will need some simple preparation to help protect it from hurricanes and their aftermath. Government and relief agencies all recommend the following:

  • Cover all of your business’ windows with plywood or permanent hurricane shutters to protect your windows from high winds and flying debris. You can pre-cut the plywood in fair weather and store it off the ground until needed.
  • Trimming trees and shrubs away from your office helps make them more wind resistant and lessens the likelihood of them damaging your business.
  • Keep gutters and drainpipes unclogged and clear of debris.
  • Turn off utilities as instructed.

Returning to the Office

After the storm passes, your community is going to be in disarray for some time. Local authorities may not permit reentry to the affected areas until they have first made it reasonably safe to return. Flooding and debris may still be in the area, so use caution. Don’t drive through running or standing water. Avoid bridges and roads that are obviously damaged or washed out.

When you do return, remember that your office may have serious damage. Only enter if safe to do so. Check to see that the electric, gas and water services are not damaged. Have licensed professionals check gas, water and electrical lines and appliances for damage. If you find or suspect damaged gas or power lines, call Entergy at 1-800-ENTERGY (368-3749) to report it.

Customers can visit entergystormcenter.com for tips and other information to prepare for severe weather and to get information on the restoration efforts that follow.

Rob Pettit

Corporate Communications - Social Media Strategist