I've been through two hurricanes in my lifetime. The most recent was Hurricane Iniki, which was a category 4 storm that devastated our island of Kauai, Hawaii in 1992. Every year when hurricane season starts in June with the arrival of El Nino or La Nina seasons, we are reminded by media, utility companies, and government entities to prepare hurricane survival kits and become familiar with procedures in the case that this type of natural disaster occurs. What my family has learned through our hurricane experiences is that in addition to those things, creating a Family Hurricane Plan is a critical component to preparedness.
A Family Hurricane Plan allows for family members to consider and discuss where they will be and what they will need to do in this type of situation. It also puts a system in place for how you will contact each other after the storm. One of the most stressful parts of the aftermath of a hurricane is not being able to contact loved ones to either check to see if they're okay or to let them know how you are doing. The Family Hurricane Plan is poised to make things in this type of difficult event as orderly as possible.
My family's hurricane plan encompasses more than 30 individuals spanning five generations. There is no limit to how many individuals can be involved in one plan, and when I say "family" I don't mean that you have to be blood related to be included in a Family Hurricane Plan. Any group of friends or neighbors that care for each other can develop a plan together.
In the last few months, our nation has experienced a handful of major natural disasters. Hurricane Sandy swept through the Eastern and Midwestern states causing devastation and leaving people without power for days and even weeks. It caused damages of at least $20 billion to businesses, families and communities. We also had one scare pretty close to home in Hawaii. A powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake occurring off the west coast of Canada spurred a tsunami warning in Hawaii the weekend prior to Halloween. At that time of the year, natural disasters are more abundant, which begs the question: Is your business prepared for a natural disaster crisis?