Now is time to prepare for Isaac

August 27, 2012

As Tropical Storm Isaac continues its westerly track, your BBB serving Mississippi urges businesses and consumers to prepare now for its potential impact.

Your BBB offers the following tips to help businesses and individuals get ready for what will likely be Hurricane Isaac when it makes landfall.


· Identify staff essential for resumption of business and keep a list of their contact information in a location that can be accessed by all key employees.

· Devise an emergency communications plan that outlines how your business will communicate with employees, customers, vendors, the media and other audiences.

· Develop a business interruption plan with details on how to minimize loss of jobs and business activity. Visit for sample plans.

· Keep duplicates of personnel, payroll, accounting and other essential records at an off-site location. Make backups of important computer files.

· Know how to contact local law enforcement, the Red Cross, FEMA and other disaster-relieve agencies.


· Visit to find checklists and downloads to create a plan.

· If you plan to evacuate, plan out your destination and route in advance and know what items you will take with you. Visit to find evacuation routes in your community.

· If you are evacuating, stock enough nonperishable food, water, prescription and non-prescription medications to last at least 5-7 days.

· Be prepared to use alternative cooking devices such as a charcoal grill or a camp stove. Only use these items outdoors in a well-ventilated area.

· Keep at least half a tank of gas in your automobile.

· Make sure you have your driver’s license, insurance cards, Social Security cards, passports and birth certificates stored in a secure yet easily accessible area in case you need to evacuate. Consider making copies in case originals are misplaced or destroyed.

· Have your checking account number readily available. Even if you rarely write checks, you can still authorize an important payment over the phone.

· Have enough cash to cover necessary purchases. ATMs and credit card machines will not work without electricity.

· Make a list of the local and toll-free numbers for your bank, credit card companies, mortgage lender, brokerage firms and insurance companies and have your account numbers handy. You may need to contact these providers to defer a payment, replace lost cards or open a new account.

· Make sure you have your safe deposit box key – you cannot get into your safe deposit box without your key, no matter what forms of identification you present.

· Listen to your local emergency management officials for updates on community preparedness, evacuation orders and other critical information.