In anticipation that Hurricane Irene may pose a significant threat to Maryland over the coming weekend, the Anne Arundel County Police Department sent the following information to its business community this morning. The information is designed to assist businesses in preparing for this potentially dangerous storm. The tips AACoPD sent to their businesses are applicable to the business community here in Mount Rainier, so with their permission, I have reproduced it here:
With the impending approach of Hurricane Irene and the possibility of its significant impact on the region, it’s time to start preparing. As for emergency awareness, additional information will follow through the State and Local Offices of Emergency Management. Stay in close contact with local news and weather releases.
We want to take this time to make you aware of business security procedures you should consider. PEPCO is already warning of the possibility of extensive and extended power disruptions.
- Conduct a room by room walk-through to determine what needs to be secured.
- Obtain plastic to cover electronic equipment in the event of roof leakage. Move electronic equipment away from windows.
- Elevate electronic equipment off of the floor for protection in the event of flooding.
- Back-up your systems and if possible store your back-ups off site.
- Protect business records. If you plan on being out of your business for an extended period, consider shutting down unnecessary electric breakers in the event of power surges.
- If possible shut gas valves leading into the business. Consider the fact that alarm systems may not function during extended power outages.
- Remove valuables and cash to a safe location. Move company vehicles to an area safe from flying debris and falling trees.
- Make arrangements with nearby parking garages to house vehicles if possible.
- Bring in outside display racks, furniture, and trash cans. Remove expensive items from display racks, particularly near windows. Consider the effects of window breakage on inventory and staff/customer safety.
- Understand your insurance policy and keep it in a safe place. If you have a number of employees, establish a phone tree to distribute information.
- Share this information with your neighboring businesses.
Unfortunately, there will be those who try to take advantage of the situation. Understand that police resources may be stretched thin, so any extra security preparedness will only benefit your business.
Most importantly: REMAIN SAFE and don’t take chances.