Is Your Business Hurricane Ready? 23 Things Stores & Restaurants Must Do to Prepare

By David Mostovoy

The worst hurricane season of the decade is in full force. This year’s hurricanes have left scores dead, millions homeless, and billions of dollars in damage in their wake.

The lessons learned from each storm were stark and troubling – very little is safe from the wrath of battering winds and rain. With hurricanes season upon us, businesses need to prepare for, and attempt to minimize, safety hazards from these monster storms.

Operators always have the incredibly difficult job of tracking task execution of multiple locations. When a storm approaches, operators need to swiftly communicate new directives and ensure execution. Here’s how restaurant/retail operators on Zenput prepare their locations to protect employees, reduce property damage, and reopen efficiently.

Before a Storm, Communicate the Following Objectives:

  • Deposit excess cash
  • Create a process to decide whether to close a location during the storm
  • Locate the nearest Emergency Room and post its address in a visible place
  • Remove important documents from store or place them in a watertight plastic bag
  • Unplug all electronic devices before closing the location
  • Obtain a weather radio and make sure batteries are working – ensure employees are up to date on weather alerts
  • Back up computer systems
  • Check outdoors for loose objects that may be blown away with high winds; secure or move them inside
  • If possible, sandbag entrance/exit doors
  • Shut off main gas line before closing the location
  • Board windows and doors

During a Hurricane, Focus on the Following:

  • If location remains open, communicate to employees that they must remain indoors and away from windows
  • Stay informed of weather developments
  • If weather deteriorates, communicate to management that closure is required
  • Ensure main gas line is shut off
  • Be on the lookout for downed power lines
  • Communicate to employees how to discourage customers from approaching danger areas

After a Storm, This is How to Reopen Efficiently:

  • Survey the location for damage. If you, or an employee, encounter downed power lines, call 911 immediately
  • Send detailed damage reports with photos so management can dispatch the appropriate resources for a swift re-open, and have documentation of the damage to decrease the time to file insurance claims
  • Communicate inventory levels; if low, request a restock
  • Before reopening location, check for signs of contaminated flood water damage and downed power lines
  • Ensure food supplies are uncontaminated and in stock
  • Get a third party to confirm structures are stable and secure

Follow these checklists to minimze safety risks and losses, and recover quickly from the storm.

If you want to improve communication before, during, and after a hurricane, Zenput is here to help. Reach us at or (415) 968-2948.

Most important of all: stay safe. You’re in our thoughts and prayers.

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