Develop a plan
Advanced preparation can prevent or substantially reduce the chance of loss. Here are some steps to consider when developing your emergency action plan:
- Designate an emergency coordinator responsible for your emergency action plan.
- Establish chain-of-command and communication procedures, including methods of locating and verifying the status of all trucks, trailers, and drivers. Consider electronic tracking systems, telematics, cell phones, or a simple check-in policy.
- Identify communication resources (such as road and weather report services) and emergency responders, and confirm:
- Everyone can access the resource in a crisis
- Contact information will be available during a power loss
- Information is updated regularly
- Detail your emergency action plan in writing—from individuals responsible for plan action and coordination to procedures to follow in an emergency.
- Add a security component to your plan to protect against crime and terrorism.
Prepare your drivers
Train your drivers on techniques for driving in adverse weather, their roles in your emergency action plan, and reporting emergency conditions in their respective areas. For success on the road:
- Run drills periodically to rehearse your emergency action plan.
- Track weather conditions in all areas of the country where you operate, using:
- Computer Highway Administration resources
- Federal Highway Administration resources (www.fhwa.dot.gov)
- Be prepared to shift, reroute, or suspend traffic if dangerous conditions arise.
Protect your facilities
Your emergency action plan should also address weather-related emergencies that could affect your office and terminal locations. Here are some tips to help protect your facilities:
Hurricanes or windstorms
- Protect windows and doors.
- Ensure roof and edge flashing are watertight.
- Cover computers and electronics to prevent water infiltration.
- Shut off your building’s utilities.
- Anchor any loose objects located outside the building.
- Designate a protective shelter area for employees.
- Determine if your business is in a flood zone and, if so, what type.
- Determine the base flood elevation (BFE) in your area to see if floods might affect your business—your local zoning or planning office can help.
- Install and maintain a sump pump if your floors are below the BFE.
- Raise all utilities, equipment, and inventory storage above the BFE.
- Park trucks and trailers above the BFE.
- When flooding in your local area is an imminent possibility, transfer your inventory and equipment to a safe facility.
Protect your business records
The loss of records, files, and documents from a disaster can add to damage costs and delay your return to normal operations. The longer these records are unavailable, the more likely you are to permanently lose customers. To protect your important documents, first consider their vulnerability to different types of disasters (flood, fire, etc.) and take the following steps:
- Keep computers above flood level and away from large windows.
- Store vital documents in a secure off-site location.
- Back up electronic files and store copies off-site.
- Store records in a secure, fireproof location.
Put your plan into action
With your emergency action plan in place, you’re ready to protect your drivers and your business from whatever comes your way. Your preparation will help keep them safe during a disaster and may prevent losses, too.
For additional information on preparing for extreme weather and other disasters, or for other safety topics, please contact your Sentry agent or your regional Sentry safety consultant, or visit sentry.com.