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Hurricane Disaster Follow Up

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hello RFMA members,

Hurricane Harvey and Irma are almost over but the devastation isn't. The massive amount of rain and wind damage will continue to cause problems for months. I'm sure you are now just beginning to wrap your hands around the next steps in getting your restaurants open. How did your Disaster Management procedures work? In a few weeks, it may be a good time to meet with other internal departments to review what went well and what did not. Every disaster presents different, difficult challenges and decisions. Restaurant facility professionals are looked at to lead in protecting local stores (assets) and they may be asked to initiate a complete review of current disaster management plans. Some items and a brief review review are as follows:

- Planning, how was the overall plan and what input is needed for a better response in the future? Were the restaurants ready for all the water damage?

- On site store procedures, was the written portion of store procedures satisfactory? Were utilities turned off? Did unit restaurant managers know who to contact and when?

- Decision making, were the critical decisions made in a timely, safe manner and by the proper, designated individuals? Were the stores closed early enough to keep employees safe and protect company assets?

- Communication, was it timely? Were the responsible parties able to communicate? Are other forms of communication needed, i.e., satellite phones, 2-way radios, etc.?

- Store supplies, were the proper supplies and their quantities enough or are additional needed, i.e., flash lights, batteries, First Aid kit, drinking water, phone chargers, cash, generators, etc.?

- Contractors and boarding up materials, were shutters and/or plywood available and contractors ready to install? Did they have enough time to install?

- Recovery, were the Response and Recovery parts of the plans on target? Were local public officials contacted and included in reopening the restaurant?

- Insurance, was your company properly protected by the correct insurance coverage? What, if any, changes may be needed?

Hurricanes are just one of the natural disasters to plan for. Periodic practice and review of your plans are necessary to protect company assets and keep employees safe. RFMA has several Disaster Management planning resources on our website in the Resource Library in the Facilities Toolkit section and there is an Online Learning Module in our CRFP Prep Course. Additionally feel free to review past articles in the Facilitator magazine.

Let me know how your plans went.

Dover and out.

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