By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

As relentless storms barraged our Northern neighbors this past Winter, I felt blessed to be within the country’s pocket of paradise amongst Miami’s sunny skies and aqua waters. However, I’m not convinced that this year’s weather anomalies end with the recent Summer Solstice. Indeed we live in paradise, but sometimes with the tropical breezes come tropical storms. Atlantic hurricane season is fully underway and Benjamin Franklin’s poignant reasoning comes to mind: “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.”

This is not meant to be a doom and gloom message, but a reminder, if you haven’t already, to create and finalize your emergency plans. This goes for not only you and your family, but also your hard earned business. Here are core elements to help you get started:

*  Address all stakeholders – have a plan focused on your employees, have a separate plan for your clients and have a plan for your community.

* Team up – select your emergency team of key individuals who will lead communications efforts, as well as ensure operations are up and running as soon as possible.

* Act early – don’t wait until the first storm warning to train your staff, gather your supplies and put your processes in place. Get as much done as you can now, so you can later focus on calmly addressing last-minute needs and reiterating your plan of action.

*  Back-up – storms are perhaps among the most unpredictable forces that can foil even the best laid plans… have a back-up option for every point of your plan.

*  Communicate – communication is needed to ensure everyone knows their role before the storm, but also to provide critical updates in its aftermath. Remember, many of your traditional forms of communication, particularly cell phone and internet service, may be interrupted, so be sure you have information available via multiple mediums. Provide every employee the full information for your emergency team and update channels and distribute a main point of contact to your clients prior should they need to reach you in between company updates.

There are several great resources to help you flesh out the details, including Ready America (, DisasterAssistance ( and Citizen Corps (

Please also feel free to contact us at the Chamber to provide further guidance in protecting your business. I hope our plans remain unused this summer, but am assured that no matter what, we’ll always soon after be able to resume business as usual in paradise.

At your service,

Jason Loeb.

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