Stay safe and ahead of the storm this season by having plans in place for your home, property, and business.
As we continue to take precautions to keep ourselves and our businesses safe from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to stay prepared for other disasters. Hurricane season is in effect as of June 1st, and the time to prepare is now.
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Hurricane survival plans should be put into action well in advance of a storm arriving. Here are Pinellas County’s guidelines for preparedness.
- Look up your evacuation zone in one of the following ways:
- Visit http://pinellascounty.org/knowyourzone.
- Download the Ready Pinellas app for iOS or Android
- Call 727-453-3150 from a land-line in your home, enter your 10-digit home phone number.
- Residents who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact the County Information Center via online chat at www.bit.ly/PinellasChat.
- Tips and planning tools in the 2020 All Hazard Guide online at www.pinellascounty.org/emergency.
- Sign up for Alert Pinellas at www.pinellascounty.org/alertpinellas
- Sign up for pet shelters now by visiting www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/petpreparedness.
- Review checklist online at www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/prepareahead.htm
FEMA continues to coordinate with state, local, tribal, and territorial officials, along with the private sector, to share operational guidance and to encourage hurricane planning that reflects public health guidelines. While many preparedness tools available to you are the same, certain actions may look different while COVID-19 remains a concern. FEMA has updated guidelines for preparing for hurricane season.
VISIT FLORIDA has assembled a catalog of resources to help you prepare an emergency plan and guide your decision-making process should our area face a severe weather threat.
FloridaDisaster.biz provides businesses, small and large, easy access to critical information before, during, and after a disaster. It is a partnership between the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM). Click here to learn more and register your business today.
The Disaster Assistance Improvement Program’s (DAIP) mission is to provide disaster survivors with information, support, services, and a means to access and apply for disaster assistance through joint data-sharing efforts between federal, tribal, state, local, and private sector partners.
As part of its service offering, the Florida SBDC offers Bizaster, a free mobile disaster assistance app. Bizaster, available in both English and Spanish for Android and iOS, features risk assessments, customizable checklists, and other resources to help businesses prepare, respond, and recover from natural and man-made disasters. Bizaster can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.
FEMA’s Ready Business Program moves organizational leaders through a step-by-step program focused on staff, surroundings, space, systems, structure, and service. Following these steps in the Ready Business Program as a part of overall business continuity planning will help protect assets (people, property, operations); sustain the capability to provide goods and services to customers and/or supply chain; maintain cash flow; preserve competitive advantage and reputation; and provide the ability to meet legal, regulatory, financial, and contractual obligations.
This guide to Hurricane Preparedness and Recovery is intended for use by small business owners having 25 or fewer employees. You may believe you are familiar with disasters by watching them on television. Please be assured that until you are in an actual disaster — watching windows being blown out around you, feeling water rise around your ankles, being without electricity or drinkable water for days and, worst of all, losing loved ones — you have not experienced the full impact of a disaster.
Recovery After the Storm
When a disaster occurs, businesses must take care of their employees’ needs, communicate the impact, address financial matters (e.g., insurance, disaster assistance), restore operations, and organize recovery. The Guide includes resources to help reopen your business and make progress through long-term recovery.
After the storm, it’s time to assess the damage. Keep your battery-operated radio close for news reports about damage, road closures, power outages and other emergency instructions. With at least seven days of uncertainty depending on the storm, you’ll need to rely upon what you’ve stored for food, water, medications and entertainment. After a hurricane, it could be weeks or months before life gets back to normal.