DISASTER PREPARATION AND RESPONSE
BRAC maintains a disaster preparation and response partnership with all regional economic development organizations and chambers of commerce in Louisiana, as well as state agencies. If necessary, BRAC will update this web page in order to assist companies if severe damage were to occur. As part of the material, BRAC will include such things as important contact information, assistance and recovery updates, office space availability, and temporary housing options.
BRAC strongly advises businesses of all sizes begin preparations for a potential emergency situation. The sustainability of operations during a natural disaster should be the primary goal of all Baton Rouge area companies, not only for their own sake, but to maintain the region’s economic stability as well.
BRAC recommends that businesses should:
- have an evacuation plan that provides for everyone on the premises to leave the workplace safely and quickly,
- maintain a list and contact information for all employees and mission-critical business partners (including work and cell phones, work and/or personal email addresses, PIN numbers, etc); the list should include employees, customers, vendors, bankers, attorneys, and insurance agents,
- establish a means of and plan for contacting employees who have been displaced from their homes by the disaster,
- make clear arrangements for all staff to be able to contact the business or locate information about the business if it is temporarily closed or forced from its normal location,
- establish procedures for succession of management,
- identify operations critical to the company's survival and recovery,
- decide which personnel and what records, procedures, and equipment are necessary to keep the business operating,
- preserve vital business records, financial data, accounting records, personnel information, inventory information, etc.,
- back up computerized records daily and store the backups, along with other vital records, at an off-site location (consider the use of a remote data center, if possible),
- plan how to continue operating if the building, plant, or store is not accessible,
- review business insurance options and ensure all relevant policies, such as business interruption coverage, are in place, premium payments are up-to-date, and all proper steps have been taken to ensure claims can be made in a timely manner if necessary,
- prepare for lengthy power interruptions during and after a disaster (i.e., arranging for alternate power sources, fuel supplies, etc.), and
- maintain and distribute to employees and partners the contact information for FEMA and SBA disaster assistance.
In addition to these suggestions, there are several online resources available to assist businesses with their hurricane planning and disaster response:
- State of Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) Get A Game Plan (getagameplan.org)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Ready Business (ready.gov/business)
- Entergy Operation: Storm Ready (stormcenter.entergy.com)
- Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster assistance loans (sba.gov/services/disasterassistance or dial 1-800-659-2955)
- Red Stick Ready (redstickready.com)