RICHBURG, S.C. — Residents and business owners along the Eastern Seaboard should be preparing now for Hurricane Florence, which is expected to make landfall late Thursday or early Friday. South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia have each declared a State of Emergency based on the storm’s projected path and growing strength.
The National Hurricane Center on Tuesday afternoon reported Florence was a Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale and is expected to be an “extremely dangerous hurricane through landfall.” A life-threatening storm surge is possible along the coasts of the Carolinas, with inland flooding to follow.
Florence had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph Tuesday afternoon, and mandatory evacuations of coastal areas were under way.
The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) offers the following checklist for steps you can take to reduce hurricane damage to your laundry:
- Have your building(s) inspected and complete any maintenance needed to ensure your building can stand up to severe weather.
- Designate an employee to monitor weather reports and alert your team to the potential of severe weather.
- Review your business continuity plan and update as needed, including employee contact information.
- Remind employees of key elements of the plan, including post-event communication procedures and work/payroll procedures. Make sure all employees have a paper copy of the plan. Review emergency shutdown and start-up procedures, such as electrical systems, with appropriate personnel.
- If backup power such as a diesel generator is to be used, test your system and establish proper contracts with fuel suppliers for emergency fuel deliveries.
- Reinspect and replenish emergency supplies inventory, since emergency supplies are often used during the offseason for non-emergency situations.
- Test all life safety equipment.
- Conduct training/simulation exercises for both your business continuity and emergency preparedness/response plans.
For much more on hurricane preparedness, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Ready.gov website.