Is Your Business Ready for Disasters and Other Emergencies?

Is Your Business Ready for Disasters and Other Emergencies?

Did you know that 40% of businesses never reopen their doors post-disaster? Volusia County Economic Development encourages all business owners to prepare their operations for the upcoming 2024 hurricane season that starts on June 1 with the Volusia Prepares Business program checklist. The comprehensive Volusia Prepares Business checklist includes essential protective measures to help your business be operational after disaster events. 

  • Protect and prepare your business with a Business Disaster Continuity Plan.
  • Review property insurance to make sure you have adequate hazard, flood, wind and business interruption insurance.
  • Video and photo document your property, vehicles and inventory before and after the disaster to assist with verifying insurance and tax credit claims.
  • Determine what emergency equipment and supplies are needed to protect and repair your business.
  • Back up your files and establish plans to protect computers. Store backup files in an alternate location.
  • Assemble insurance policies, financial records, inventories and other important documents. Make duplicates and store in alternate safe places.
  • Move files and equipment to higher elevations.
  • Shutter windows and sandbag doors. Cover sensitive equipment.
  • Have a generator ready as a backup until power is restored.
  • Encourage your employees to create a family disaster plan. The sooner they take care of their personal preparations, the quicker they can help prepare your business.
  • Create a Crisis Communication Plan to communicate with customers, suppliers and employees.
  • Develop an employee alert roster to notify employees during nonworking hours about the status of business operations.
  • Protect employees and schedule only essential personnel during the storm.
  • Arrange alternate payroll methods for your employees with your banking institution after the disaster.
  • Retain a list of emergency support phone numbers for various needs and distribute it to your employees.
  • Know your community’s evacuation plan and evacuation routes.
  • Update your plan quarterly and be sure all existing employees and new hires understand the plan.
  • Volusia County PIN Network – County and municipal public information officers collaborate and coordinate public information before, during and after disasters.
  • – This site was developed to provide businesses, small and large, easy access to critical information before, during and after a disaster.
  • National Weather Service Melbourne – Visit this site for current local weather information.
  • The Volusia County Emergency Management App contains advanced features that can keep Volusia County residents prepared and informed about any emergency at hand.
  • EverBridge – Volusia County residents are encouraged to sign up for AlertVolusia, Volusia County’s new Emergency Mass Notification System. AlertVolusia replaces the CodeRed system which the County previously used to notify residents and businesses of emergencies.
  • Stay up to date on social media by following Volusia County Emergency Management on Twitter and Facebook.
  • For information on shelters, sandbag locations and other disaster updates, call the Citizens Information Center (activated only during disasters) at 866-345-0345. The number for the Telecommunication Device for the Deaf is 386-248-1792.

Other Preparedness Resources

Hurricane Expo

Volusia County, in collaboration with the Volusia Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD) and the Volusia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will host the 2024 Hurricane Expo details from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 4. The Hurricane Expo, which is free to attend, will be held at the Volusia County UF/IFAS Extension Office, 3100 E. New York Ave., DeLand in the Hester and Daugharty buildings adjacent to the Volusia County Fairgrounds. Attendees will be guided by marked signage to navigate the entrance and parking.

The Expo aims to educate and prepare the community for hurricane season through engaging safety demonstrations, educational presentations, and comprehensive hurricane preparedness exhibits.

Ready RatingTM Assessment Tool

In addition to the checklist and expo, businesses, schools, houses of worship and nonprofit institutions can utilize the free Ready Rating™ Assessment tool which is provided by the American Red Cross to measure the quality of their emergency response plans. Those who do not have a plan can begin their path to readiness with the ReadyGo Assessment that focuses on the most critical preparedness steps. If your organization has a robust preparedness plan, use the ReadyAdvance Assessment to measure and score your existing plans and find ways to implement actions to take your preparedness to the next level.