This year, hurricane season—which officially began June 1—arrived early, as it has every year since 2015. But while 2021’s inaugural Subtropical Storm Ana did not make landfall in the U.S. in late May, meteorologists are expecting the remainder of the year to be a busy time for hurricanes—and as manufacturers know all too well, that can mean trouble is ahead.
In addition to endangering lives, a strong hurricane can cause severe damage to individual companies and the U.S. economy as a whole. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2019 that expected annual losses from hurricane and storm-related damage came to $54 billion.
Always be prepared: Better planning for these yearly occurrences can help manufacturers mitigate the costs associated with storm-caused devastation—and go a long way toward keeping employees safe, too.
Offering resources: In partnership with disaster-relief organization SBP and product-philanthropy nonprofit Good360, the NAM’s Emergency Response Committee works year-round to provide members with access to disaster-preparedness resources and training in advance of natural disasters, and helps manufacturers activate to help their communities when one strikes
For example, in a recent webinar sponsored by the NAM’s ERC, Amanda Gallina, SBP community engagement manager, and Matt Woodruff, vice president of public and government affairs for Texas-based tank barge operator Kirby Corporation, laid out some suggestions for hurricane preparation.
For businesses: Woodruff provided some commonsense advice for employers:
- Ensure new employees understand the hurricane plan well ahead of hurricane season.
- Create a checklist of duties that must be performed, starting with the first day of hurricane season.
- Set up remote work sites for affected areas and employees.
- Provide support to the families of employees who live in affected areas to ensure their safety.
For individuals: Gallina offered advice for all individuals facing a hurricane:
- Collect hazard and emergency information from local and national sources like news and weather apps, NOAA Weather Radio and the Red Cross Emergency app.
- Make a household emergency plan, which should include stockpiling supplies, establishing communication methods and emergency contact numbers and creating an evacuation and sheltering plan.
- Identify and protect important documents by storing them in a fire- and water-proof box, while giving extra copies to a trusted attorney or friend. You can also use secure online cloud storage as another backup.
- Get the right insurance by identifying any gaps in coverage and asking your agent the right questions.
The last word: “We are grateful for the partnership with Good360 and SBP, which allows us to better support NAM members in times of need, but most importantly, provide valuable resources and thought leadership to build resiliency in advance of a disaster,” said NAM Chief Operating Officer Todd Boppell. “Advance planning is critical for successful businesses, and the thoughtful approach demonstrated by our partners resonates with the NAM’s vision to support manufacturing operations.”
To contact the NAM’s emergency response committee or to be added to its mailing list, email [email protected].