Preparing for a storm, before it hits

Preparing for a storm, before it hits
Horry County Emergency Mangement presented at the symposium.
Horry County Emergency Mangement presented at the symposium.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - When disaster hits, like a hurricane or an ice storm, we need to be prepared. For the second year, the City of Myrtle Beach and Chamber of Commerce held a Disaster Recovery Symposium, to make sure, you are ready for it all.

Disaster can shut down the area and impact us all. The point of the event is to prepare you, your family and your business, for a catastrophe.

A storm isn't the only disaster we could run into today, something like a cyber attack could just as easily destroy your livelihood.

Speakers at Friday's Disaster Recovery Symposium stressed the importance of backing up your data, but, the big takeaway, is that now is the time to get a disaster plan in place.

Emergency Management representatives from New Jersey passed on lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy.

"We had almost 2 million people lose power, we had over 100,000 homes destroyed and we actually had some deaths associated with Sandy.The recovery effort is still ongoing," said Captain Joe Geleta.

Captain Geleta admits, there are always lessons to be learned. He urges, it's not about what you do after the storm, but getting ready before it hits. He found, the businesses which had a plan, had a higher success rate for recovery.

Randy Webster with Horry County Emergency Management says if you're at least prepared for a hurricane, you should be able to take on any disaster.

"We do a lot of work with our residents and visitors but that business community's huge because that is our economic engine and that's what it's gonna take to help start a speedy and safe recovery is to get our businesses open as soon as possible," said Webster.

For example, your data backed up in a separate place, making sure you're insured, or even just prepping your employees about what to do if and when you're in hot water.

"All the plans we have in place they're only as good as if we test them and exercise them," said Geleta. "That's the only way you're going to recognize if there's gaps in your plan, if things are missing, if a key partner is not involved."

Which means getting each and every business on the same page.

"They were actually talking about a schedule for other city's that they're going to be doing this and we will make sure we're at each one, going forward," said Time Warner Sales Representative Kevin Murray.

If you haven't done so yet, make sure you have a plan in place for your family, and your own home.

This is the second year the event was held. This year more than one hundred people attended, but there are still many more businesses to reach, so this year, won't be the last for the event.

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