El Niño: Is your business prepared?

January 12, 2016

2016 is an El Niño year, and it’s here!

Whether you’re a business or resident, the message is the same: 2016 is an El Niño year. As we saw with storms earlier this week, that means lots of heavy wind and rainfall this season. These conditions could wreak havoc in Southern California, and Carlsbad is no exception. Flooding, mudslides, sinkholes, extended power outages and traffic accidents are just a handful of the problems that El Niño can bring. Creating an El Niño disaster preparedness plan is just as much a necessity for your business as it is for your home. It is better to have a plan and not need it, than to need one and not have it.

The City of Carlsbad takes a very active approach to emergency preparation. We make it a priority to ensure we are prepared for all the potential emergencies that could happen in our community. This includes El Niño. The good news is the city is here to help you get started.
The El Niño preparedness page on our website should be your first stop when creating the emergency plan for your business. Follow the city on Facebook and Twitter for up to date information when a disaster does occur.
Ready to jump start your plan? Here are a few things you can do today to prepare for El Niño:
  • Some businesses are subject to flooding. Determine if your business is located in a flood plain. Visit the Ready San Diego web page for El Niño to find out.
  • Read up on your insurance policy. Do you have flood insurance? Do you have enough coverage?
  • Back up computer files and make copies of all important documents and store them somewhere safely outside your business.
  • Take photos of your inventory and store the photos with your important documents.
  • Collaborate with neighboring businesses so you can assist each other in a disaster.
  • Keep a three day supply of nonperishable food and water at your businesses.
  • Plan for continuity of business operations and consider whether employees can telecommute or work from home.  Include contingency plans with suppliers and how you’re going to get the resources you need for your business to operate.
  • Consider when to shelter in place and what factors might exist to cause you to shelter. Know what resources are needed to shelter in place.
  • Be prepared with an evacuation plan and share it with employees.
  • Create a contact list with emails and phone numbers so you can connect with employees in a disaster.
  • Make plans for your family to ensure their safety and your peace of mind while you are away.
  • Visit www.readysandiego.org to register your mobile phone and email for emergency alerts and download the San Diego County Emergency App.
It is important to remember that the needs of every business are different and there is no one size fits all emergency preparedness plan. For example, the location of your business could play a significant role in your plan. The sooner you identify your business’s unique challenges and needs, the sooner you can take steps to protect yourself, your employees and your assets. Develop a disaster preparedness plan today and share it with employees and coworkers. Don’t put this off until later, now is the time. Plan, prepare and stay informed.  Sign up for the Ready Carlsbad Business Alliance through the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce for more information and resources.