Week of June 9, 2008
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Builders Advised to Prepare for Busy Hurricane Season

The hurricane season that started this month and runs through the end of November is expected to spawn a near-normal to above-normal number of storms in the nation’s Atlantic Basin region, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is advising businesses and residents in these coastal areas to be prepared.

“Living in a coastal state means having a plan for each and every hurricane season,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “Planning and preparation is the key to storm survival and recovery."

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is calling for considerable hurricane activity, with a 65% probability of an above-normal season and a 25% probability of the season being near-normal, giving the season a 90% likelihood of being normal or above-normal.

For this year, there is a 60% to 70% chance of 12 to 16 named storms, according to the outlook, including six to nine hurricanes, two to five of which are predicted to be major and at least Category 3 storms.

Restoring business is an important part of recovery from disasters, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Businesses that plan for disaster before a storm typically have less damage and downtime than those that do not, the agency says.

FEMA advises businesses to consider several elements in preparing for a disaster.

“Not only is it important to protect the staff, building, data and inventory of a company during a damaging event,” FEMA says, “it’s also critical to prepare a plan to continue operations after most everything is destroyed. A good plan may include provisions to relocate to a pre-identified site; retrieve data, including employee, customer and vendor records; and operate efficiently with a smaller staff of key individuals."

FEMA provides a step-by-step approach to emergency planning, response and recovery for companies of all sizes in its “Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry,” which is in the agency’s publication library.

Click here for information from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Web site on disaster preparation tips and a list of topics business owners should consider in planning.

For information on disaster-recovery resources available from NAHB, e-mail Ken Ford or Calli Schmidt at NAHB, or call them at 800-368-5242, x8228 or x8132, respectively.

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