Hurricane season is upon us, and here in Louisiana, we have been on high alert. Although Hurricane Barry turned out to be largely a false alarm, the anticipations did back memories of Hurricane Katrina, and the devastation it caused in 2005.
While Louisiana has since largely recovered from the damage inflicted by Katrina, it is important to look at what occurred in 2005, and what was done, but more importantly, what wasn’t done, to prepare the state for a storm of this size.
What Were the Challenges During Katrina?
Aside from the obvious, Katrina caused chaos behind the scenes as well. By not being prepared for a storm of this magnitude, business and government offices suffered the following:
- Major communication outages that made it difficult to find missing workers.
- Transportation was limited and not always reliable. Moving into restricted areas became increasingly more and more difficult as the storm grew.
- Due to the amount of flooding and damage, essential services like branches of banks and ATMs were stuck underwater for weeks.
- Fuel was not readily available for generators and electricity was spotty. This meant the generators used to power computer systems were useless.
- Buildings and facilities were outright destroyed or sustained major damage.
While many businesses had emergency plans in place to deal with these issues, Hurricane Katrina was so massive that putting this recovery plan into place was nearly impossible. Many businesses ended up adjusting their emergency plans and offerings to better fit the magnitude of Katrina – like banks beginning to cash checks for non-customers.
How Can We Prepare for Another Katrina?
Although hurricane season returns to Louisiana each year, disasters of the Katrina magnitude are few and far between. This does not mean that, as business owners, we should become complacent. It’s time to prepare for the “what if” worst case scenario.
- Start planning and practicing disaster drills. These drills should be unique to your business location. Be sure to take into account the number of employees, size and layout of your building, and location. At Rytech of SWLA, we can help you plan an emergency evacuation plan suited specifically to your business.
- Create a schedule for testing all electrical equipment and back up power generators.
- Ensure that all employees understand what their part is in the evacuation plan and where they should go during a disaster.
- Have one person responsible for taking roll call, to account for all employees.
- Make sure that a digital and printed copy of the list stored, both on and off-site. Have multiple locations and copies in case you don’t have access to your buildings or lose power.
- Be ready to communicate with customers and let them know your plan for continuing business as usual during reconstruction.
- Have a trusted reconstruction company on hand, rather than having to search at an already difficult time.
Use Rytech of SWLA for Your Reconstruction Needs.
While Rytech of SWLA can help plan your emergency evacuation plan, we also specialize in reconstruction services after natural disasters. Our crew is prepared to deal with large scale, severe weather damage. We have a division that is dedicated only to disaster recovery.
We know that suffering from a natural disaster is devastating, but we are here to make the situation as easy and pain free as possible for business owners. Call us today, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we’ll get your business up and running as quickly as possible.