This weekend, Tropical Storm Fay brings heavy rains, high winds, and potential tornadoes to the Mid-Atlantic Region while simultaneously the COVID-19 pandemic infection rates are not controlled across the United States. But wait, there’s more! According to the NOAA Weather Prediction Center, there is “enhanced risk for severe thunderstorms moving across the northern Plains today” and “hot, potentially record breaking, temperatures expand across much of the Southern states as well as parts of the Lower Great Lakes.”
Please don’t panic.
It’s understandable that you may not have reviewed your preparedness plans in years. Over the past few months, you’ve likely focused more on keeping your business going through the pandemic than thinking about too many other “what if” scenarios.
There are a few things you can do to help yourself and your business during this time, even if it’s already started to rain in your area.
5 Quick Tips for your Disaster Preparedness Plan
- Charge your mobile devices, locate flashlights and test their batteries. Do you have food and water? Is it food you can still prepare if there’s a power outage?
- While the guidance is to shelter in place if you are able to do so, double check your go bag and make sure it still has what you need — have you added masks and hand sanitizer? Is there a spare charging cable? Even if you don’t think you’ll be asked to evacuate, make a note of routes, and fill your gas tank. Don’t forget about your pets!
- Review your key information. If you don’t have anything written down yet, make something now. You don’t have to type it up, it’s ok to write it by hand! Here are a few suggested items to include:
- Phone number of power company to report outages.
- Account information (personal & business) for banking, telephone, power, etc.
- List of employees with contact information (if applicable).
- A summary of important personal health information & an emergency contact.
- In addition to a hard copy, store a digital copy in a place you can access from anywhere. Take a picture of what you wrote and save that.
- If you’re in the path of this storm, walk around your property and make sure things that could pose risk in high winds are secured. Chances are you’ve been gardening or spending more time in your yard than in prior years.
- Plan indoor activities for the weekend. Don’t work all the time, you’ll burn out. While I’d love to curl up with a good book and work on a neglected knitting project, as long as the power holds, I plan to take an auto insurance premium reduction course. This is something I’ve put off for a few months, it’s either that or clean my dishwasher.
Please stay safe.
Disaster Preparedness is challenging to work on even when there’s no novel virus pandemic causing stress.
- Preparing for Hurricane Season During the COVID-19 Pandemic (FEMA)
- Preparing for Hurricanes During the COVID-19 Pandemic / Preparación para huracanes durante la pandemia del COVID-19 (CDC)
- Weather Emergencies: Storms, Floods, and Power Outages (NYS DOH)
- NOAA Weather Prediction Center
- National Hurricane Center