Disasters are an inevitable, unavoidable truth. Emotions will be high as hurricane season approaches. There will be fear and uncertainty. However, steps can be taken to manage disasters effectively. A big role in recovery is understanding that anxiety, trouble sleeping and other symptoms are common responses before, during and after natural disasters like Hurricane Ian. But focusing on Readiness, Reaction, Resources, Recovery and Resilience will help bring clarity and perspective.
WATCHING THE FORECAST
Early forecasters have predicted that Florida will once again be at a higher risk of a storm making landfall than other parts of the country. Meteorologists will continue to hone in their forecast as we reach the peak of season in early- to mid-September. However, current indications are the 2023 season will be near historical average with 11-15 named storms. Four to eight are expected to reach hurricane strength, with one to three achieving major hurricane status (maximum sustained winds of 111 mph or greater).As we witnessed with Ian, don’t focus on the overall storm count. It only takes one storm to make an impact.
It is critical to identify vulnerabilities of your home and business. Many small- to medium-sized businesses pay a hefty price for lack of preparedness. Having proper plans in place ensure your operations can return to normal following a threat, be it by natural or manmade design. A “Business Continuity Plan” helps keep your business operational during a disaster and limits downtime wherever possible. A “Disaster Recovery Plan” works to mitigate the impact on your infrastructure so you can restore systems as quickly as possible. Both are vital to integrate into your business model so you grow more resilient and better prepared for whatever challenge lies ahead.
If you own a leased property, it’s critical that tenants understand their role in risk management. Ensuring they have the appropriate liability and property coverage will help protect your interest. Another key is making sure they are aware of your building’s protocols in anticipation of a storm nearing the coast or making landfall, as well as their responsibilities for safeguarding their own assets.
Shop early. Shop smart. Adding a few items to your regular shopping list is the easiest way to complete your hurricane kit with minimal budgetary impact. It’s important to not only stock items to hold you over during and after the storm, but cleaning supplies and materials for possible debris removal after the storm. Watch for when the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday dates are posted. This typically begins the end of May and ends in early June (www.floridarevenue.com).
The best time to prepare is now. Have your plan, list of emergency contacts, utility services and other critical information at the ready. No matter what awaits us in the coming months, know that we will get through this with no small amount of grit and grace.
Mary Gentile, CRX, CSM, is President of LandQwest Property Management, LLC, with 25+ years of commercial real estate management experience, is active with ICSC, IREM, BOMA, NAWIC, and CREW. Gentile is a member of the Lee County Horizon Council and is a NOAA Weather Ambassador. Contact Gentile at email@example.com or 239- 464-3277.