JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Hurricane season is just around the corner, and scientists predict it will be a busy one.
Homeowners aren't the only ones who need to be ready, businesses also need to have plans in place by June 1st.
That could be the only good thing that come of severe storms - a reminder of how quickly damage and flooding can be done, and how important it is for not only homeowners to be prepared but also business owners.
The 2013 hurricane season will begin before you know it. Less than four weeks away. Jacksonville labor and employment attorney Eric Holshouser said now's a good time for business owners to make sure an emergency action plan is in place.
"I think a lot of businesses probably do not consciously have an emergency action plan. Many do, many of the larger companies do, but one thing about OSHA, OSHA applies to all businesses even if they have one employee so even small businesses have to be prepared for this type of emergency should it come along," said Holshouser.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires any business, with one or more employees, to have an emergency action plan. Holshouser said it's likely OSHA wouldn't get involved until after something bad happens.
"Its important to be prepared ahead of time to make sure that you have a plan in place, that plans are followed. Employees are trained on that plan in case we do have a hurricane come to this part of the country or even if you just have a tropical storm or near a hurricane, it could spawn tornadoes and the result of that could require implementation of an emergency action plan," said Holshouser.
The last hurricane to hit Florida was Wilma in October of 2005, but even big rain events like we saw in May, or tropical storms like we experienced in our area last year, can cause serious damage. So if you own a business be sure you have your ducks in a row.
"Its better to get it ready to go and then the storm comes they're ready," said Holshouser.
This week, more than 1,500 people are at the Florida Governor's Hurricane Conference in South Florida. The two big topics are the need for people to grasp the potential deadliness of storm surge, and the likelihood of a hurricane hitting this year.
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