Tropical Storm Erika Takes Aim at Caribbean and Florida – Be Prepared
Following quickly behind Hurricane Danny, Tropical Storm Erika has taken aim at the Caribbean and Florida. Since forming in the Atlantic, Erika has difficult for forecasters to accurately predict. Nonetheless, most models indicate that Erika will likely remain a tropical storm. Those in its path should be concerned about storm surge and flood from heavy rains.
Dominica and other islands have already experienced severe flooding and several fatalities from the slow-moving storm. In addition, the lack of land-falling hurricanes in Florida in recent years means that over a decade of new construction has taken place that remains untested by a serious storm.
A tropical storm is never just a tropical storm. Lessons learned from storms past, including Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, remind us that a storm’s path and intensity can take a dramatic and potentially catastrophic turn, severely impacting your operations directly or indirectly and causing extensive financial harm.
Be Prepared for Anything
Although Erika’s strength and path are still unclear, there are steps you can take now to prepare for the storm such as:
- Review your insurance coverage and your claims recovery plans.
- Ensure your business continuity, emergency response, and crisis management plans are up to date and ready to be activated.
- Run through your hurricane preparedness and response checklist, which can help you establish a clear and actionable plan before a hurricane strikes.
In the event that Erika does cause damage, consider the following actions:
- Call your broker. Your insurance advisor can support your business recovery, especially in light of any service interruption issues or property damage.
- Carefully track and document loss details, especially for any supply chain disruptions. This will assist in the accurate measurement and presentation of claims.
- Account for affected colleagues. Ensure that human resources policies for dealing with temporary absences are well-understood at all levels, that roles and responsibilities are covered by others as needed, and that disaster-relief and humanitarian assistance plans are activated.
Early steps and a proactive response can help you minimize damage to people and property and enable you to recover as quickly as possible.