If your organization operates in an area which could be affected by hurricanes, your Business Continuity Plan (BCP) should include steps to help your organization prepare for the time before, during, and after a hurricane.
According to the FFIEC's Information Technology Examination Handbook, Business Continuity Management Booklet, an organization's BCP should "include event management procedures that detail reasonably foreseeable event types and provide thresholds and responses, [including] activating emergency response procedures once a hurricane threatens the local region."
To ensure your BCP addresses this recommendation and provides useful hurricane response procedures, review the following examples, and consider downloading our full hurricane checklist to help you get started.
Before a Hurricane
If the possibility for a hurricane exists:
- Verify employee emergency contact information is current and run a test of emergency contact systems.
- Confirm emergency supplies and medical kits are available.
- Inspect the facility, securing windows and equipment, as needed.
- Backup electronic data and locate important paper data (e.g., insurance), and store in a secure, waterproof location.
- Charge portable batteries and mobile devices, check generator tank fuel levels and fill vehicle fuel tanks.
- Review evacuation and shelter plans.
During a Hurricane
When a hurricane is imminent or occurring:
- Regularly monitor NOAA weather updates for the latest storm information.
- Determine whether branches will stay open or closed.
- Communicate with employees, customers/members, and regulators, as needed.
- Enact a controlled shutdown of unnecessary processes, systems, and equipment.
- Move important equipment away from windows, if possible.
- If branches will remain open, monitor the facility for leakage, broken pipes, structural damage, etc., and determine when to enact evacuation and shelter plans and procedures.
- If branches will close, complete the process of safely shutting down all procedures, systems, and equipment, covering unplugged equipment with plastic covering to protect from rain or water.
After a Hurricane
When the immediate danger of a hurricane has passed:
- Cautiously enter facilities, watching from broken glass or debris.
- Inspect the facility for broken windows, doors, or roof damage.
- Note any damage to the facility and take photographs, for insurance purposes.
- Communicate with employees, customers / members, regulators, and contractors for repairs, as needed.
To help ensure your BCP is ready for a hurricane, download the Tandem Hurricane Emergency Checklist. The checklist offers a series of steps, examples, and resources, designed to help ensure your organization is prepared for the event of a hurricane.
Take Your BCP to the Next Level
To take your BCP to the next level, learn more about Tandem Business Continuity Plan. With sample emergency checklists for common scenarios (e.g., hurricanes, denial-of-service attacks, power loss, etc.), alongside a built-in employee communication tool and mobile app for easy BCP access, Tandem is designed to help ensure you have a usable plan in the event of a business disruption. Learn more at https://tandem.app/business-continuity-planning.