Hurricane preparation is one of the aspects of disaster management that can actually be scheduled. While the event itself can be unpredictable, hurricane season comes about every year and as a self-storage owner/operator you can use the time between seasons to prepare and update your disaster planning and management practices.
Disaster Management Notebook
One of the most important parts of hurricane preparation is having a disaster management notebook handy. We go in depth about this notebook in our Disaster Planning Guide which you can request when you fill out a contact request form and comment “Disaster”. The idea of the disaster management notebook is two-fold: a checklist of daily or routine tasks to upkeep and an incident report form.
Make sure your checklist also includes phone numbers to all potentially applicable parties, including emergency personnel, utility contacts, and contractors. You’ll want to have a checklist that follows the disaster plan you’ve laid down. You should also include a list of materials that will need to be checked, updated and easily accessible to all employees.
Having a plan to include in your disaster notebook will speed up the response time for your employees. They’ll have a direct map of what to do and where to go. Make sure you include more than just hurricane preparation as there are a number of disasters you may experience at some point.
Helpful tips for Hurricane Preparation
Some additional tips to consider:
- Outline a clear chain of command
- Take photographs
- Use your office as a point of stability
- Establish a critical customer communication plan
- Consider site safety a priority
- Secure the facility
- Customer Service should also be a priority
The ‘real’ advice
A disaster can leave one in shock and, dealing with the aftermath, can be overwhelming and stressful for ALL involved. And remember, in a disaster, your tenants are under extreme stress, and they may lash out and/or act out of character. Don’t take it personally!
You are not alone, so remain calm, breathe, gather your resources, get plenty of rest. While we all hope to never experience a disaster at our facility, a much bigger disaster can be avoided by being prepared. Having a solid plan in place and a well-trained staff will make for a smoother, quicker recovery.
Don’t forget to request your copy of our full disaster planning guide and checklist by commenting “Disaster” here.