June 1 was the official start to the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. While skies are blue, we encourage you to take time now to make preparations for your family and your business. Make sure you’ve got the right insurance coverage in place, refresh your emergency supplies, back up your data, and make sure you have an emergency plan in place.
Probably the most frequent issue we address on behalf of our members during hurricane season is the issue of post-disaster re-entry. FRF President & CEO Scott Shalley and General Counsel/VP Samantha Padgett recently met with Division of Emergency Management Executive Director Bryan Koon and senior leadership to discuss this issue and the need for a clear and consistent directive for the entire state. Executive Director Koon has issued a letter of guidance to Florida businesses (available here). Employees, delivery trucks, common carriers, and other service providers serving businesses will need to be prepared with the following three items in order to gain re-entry to an impacted area:
- Government-issue ID
- Proof of employment
- Demonstrated need to enter (for example, and employer authorization letter, bill of lading, or work order).
As always, local law enforcement has the final say regarding life safety issues.
We have firmly expressed the need for efficient and timely re-entry of businesses in order help citizens get the supplies they need and ensure economic resiliency. Even with the best of planning, occasional challenges arise. We will work with our public sector partners to facilitate resolution and encourage business continuity. Please do not hesitate to contact us; we are here to help.
Throughout the season, the Florida Retail Federation will provide you with information regarding approaching storms and post-disaster recovery. To ensure you are plugged in to all the right places, we encourage you to register your business with the state virtual business emergency operations center (www.flvbeoc.org.) We also encourage you to connect with your county and regional Emergency Management Coordinators (http://www.floridadisaster.org/regions/documents/em_managers.pdf). The state’s emergency management website, www.floridadisaster.org, also serves as a great resource for citizens and individuals.