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By: Ariel Thompson

Securing a business during hurricane season

Securing a business during hurricane season

Even paradise can get a little cloudy, particularly between June and November which is hurricane season in the Caribbean.

However, the weather doesn’t have to halt business activities provided companies have effective contingency plans in place to ensure safety, security, and business continuity.

At Dart, Senior Risk Manager and Crisis Management Group Vice Chair Pete Bridge is responsible for preparing the group’s businesses and assets for hurricane season each year.

“Our Hurricane Preparedness Plan is triggered 96 hours in advance of a potential storm,” says Bridge. “This way we have adequate time to prepare the company and our employees because the weather can become unpredictable closer to the time of impact.”

The plan outlines the roles of respective business units and personnel in the event of a storm, from communications to operations. It also provides details and resources for employees’ home and family preparations.

“The three areas of concern we focus on are life safety, information security, and asset safety,” says Bridge. “Our plans reflect the necessary teams and procedures that will help us secure the critical elements of the company.”

For the purpose of business continuity, Bridge notes that contingency plans should include appropriate measures during and after a storm.

“Depending on the severity of the storm, some companies have employees leave the island or have them remain here in a secure location to continue business as best as possible immediately after an event,” he says.

“Either way, you should choose the location and quality of your business premises very carefully, as this in itself could significantly simplify the preparation and post-event recovery process.”

Dart’s headquarters are located in the company’s purpose built town of Camana Bay where the commercial and residential spaces are built to Miami-Dade hurricane specification ratings.

Property Portfolio Manager Marvin Cox reiterates the importance of Camana Bay’s rated infrastructure, as it provides tenants additional comfort and confidence in the location.

“The construction details of our facilities and the services that we offer are appealing features for tenants,” says Cox. “When considering all of the options on island for commercial operations, our managed properties rank at the top.”

“The town was built to have the appropriate means for business continuity,” he says. “For example, our office buildings are equipped with 100% backup power generators.”

Tenants have access to features that prove useful at this time of year. “We permit them to use their office space as a shelter if the storm is a category three or higher,” says Cox. “Provisions are also made for them to park their vehicle on site in our secured parking structures.”

Trained staff are available during hurricane season to help tenants prepare for and recover from eventualities.

“If needed, we are available for consultations with tenants to help guide their preparations for the season,” says Cox. “In the event of a storm, staff and additional personnel resources will be on hand to assist with any remediation efforts.”

These measures are in place at Camana Bay to help alleviate and support some of the preparations a business needs to make for hurricane season, just one more reason why the town is an ideal location.

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