BRAC Issues Emergency Preparedness Recommendations for Businesses 

BATON ROUGE, La. (May 31, 2024) – As June 1 marks the official start to hurricane season, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released its annual recommendations to help businesses prepare for weather emergencies. BRAC strongly advises businesses of all sizes to begin immediate preparation. Preparedness resources may be found at brac.org/prepare

“As we approach hurricane season, it’s crucial for businesses to prioritize preparedness to ensure continuity and resilience,” said Ann Trappey, BRAC interim president and CEO. “Proactive measures not only safeguard operations but also protect employees and the wider community. By planning ahead, we can mitigate the impacts of these natural disasters and strengthen our regional economy. Let’s act now to weather any storm that comes our way.” 

In the event that a hurricane or other major weather event impacts the Baton Rouge Area, businesses should ensure the security of their people, as well as information, equipment and resources essential to their operations and customers. They should also be prepared with the correct information for handling post-event recovery efforts.  

BRAC recommends that businesses:  

  • 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 emergency contact names, 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 displaced 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, physical plant or store is inaccessible 
  • 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 
  • Prepare for lengthy power interruptions during and after a disaster (i.e., arranging for alternate power sources, fuel supplies, etc.) 
  • Maintain and distribute to employees and partners the contact information for FEMA and SBA disaster assistance 

In addition to these suggestions, there are several resources available online to assist businesses with emergency preparations and response:  

In the event of tropical storm formation, the NOAA National Hurricane Center (www.nhc.noaa.gov) will have the latest tracking information, watches, warnings and alerts available online. Should a federal emergency be declared resulting from a hurricane in our area, BRAC will issue specific contact information and physical locations for obtaining business disaster loans available through the SBA and any assistance programs offered through Louisiana state government.  

The Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center (LA BEOC) offers businesses the opportunity to make their goods or services available to those in need following a natural disaster. By registering with LA BEOC on their website (www.labeoc.org) and completing a company profile, businesses can indicate how they can be of assistance. The LA BEOC will connect registered businesses with state agencies, when needed. All businesses that may be able to provide assistance after a natural disaster are encouraged to register now.  

If necessary, BRAC will publish a business information section on its website to assist companies if severe damage occurs. As part of the material, BRAC will include such things as important contact information and assistance and recovery updates. 

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber   

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is an aggressively ambitious regional economic development organization with a bias for action. BRAC seeks to push Baton Rouge beyond the status quo, unleash its potential, and support a vibrant business community that believes the finish line does not exist. BRAC seeks to accelerate economic opportunity in the Baton Rouge Area, for everyone, through BRING IT! Baton Rouge, its five-year, regional strategic plan. Learn more about BRAC at brac.org

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