Although natural disasters are an unstoppable force of nature, hurricane preparedness can go a long way toward reducing a storm’s impact on the community’s essential services and financial stability.
“Insurance is just one element of risk management,” says Bob Marinelli, risk control manager for Argo Group’s Trident Public Risk Solutions, a leader in the public sector insurance and risk-management marketplace.
According to Marinelli, a disaster plan should include steps to take before and after an event.
Before an event
- Mitigate to eliminate or reduce hazards. Example: Remove or tie down objects that could blow away, becoming a threat to persons and property.
- Prepare for personnel to act quickly and effectively. Develop call-up lists, resource lists, and stockpile supplies and equipment.
After an event
- Execute response tactics. To prevent further damage or injuries, stabilize damaged facilities and retain or re-establish control to effectively deploy emergency response personnel.
- Follow a recovery strategy. Ensure the process is orderly, phased and reasoned.
When the situation has stabilized, engage your agent and insurance carrier to help evaluate the damage and formulate a financial recovery plan. Recovery can be a long process — community leaders working together with their risk and insurance partners can ensure efforts are focused on getting the community back to business.
Ongoing preparedness measures
- Review and update the plan at regular intervals. Emergency planning is a continuous process that includes a feedback loop. After an emergency event, hold a “lessons learned” session, and request input from all responders. Schedule regular plan reviews to make sure management and organizational leaders are clear on what to do if a hurricane — or any weather emergency — is imminent.
- Discuss emergency communications with your staff. Electric, utility and cellular services may be impacted. Call a meeting with your staff to discuss the implementation of a command center with appropriate backup systems.
- Test your emergency communications plan. Schedule a time to practice notifying employees during and outside business hours. That could mean sending an email or a text alert, using social media posts or testing a public address system to ensure leadership can provide critical guidance. To avoid confusion, identify the messages as a test.
Trident has public entities covered
On average, the Atlantic hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. Is your local government prepared?
Trident offers a variety of resources when it comes to preparing for hurricanes and other disasters, including a whitepaper on the importance of continuity of operations plans.
Learn more at www.argolimited.com/trident.