IF A DISASTER STRIKES, WILL YOUR BUSINESS BE READY?
October can be scary, and not only if you are in the Halloween business! Halloween is on the 31st, so social media, the news, retail businesses, and horror movies are all filled with pumpkins, spice and ghosts. For business and homeowners alike, the “Ghost of Halloween Past” conjures up images of the freak October snowstorm experienced by all of us in North Morris County not all that long ago. Most business owners in the area were hit hard by hurricane Irene in 2011, and then right on its tail came the 2011 Halloween nor'easter which we all, no doubt, remember. “Shocktober” was a large low pressure area that produced unusually early snowfall across the northeastern United States and the Canadian Maritimes. As it moved up the East Coast, its associated snowfall broke records in at least 20 cities for total accumulations, resulting in a rare "white Halloween" two days later.
The storm arrived just two months after Hurricane Irene caused extensive power outages and property damage in the Northeast. It dumped snow on trees that were often still in leaf, adding extra weight, with the ground in some areas still soft from a preceding warm, rainy period that increased the possibility trees could be uprooted. Trees and branches that collapsed caused considerable damage, particularly to power lines, with estimates of storm costs ranging between $1 billion and $3 billion. In all, 3.2 million U.S. residences and businesses  in 12 states experienced power outages, with the storm also impacting three Canadian provinces. 
Many homes and businesses in North Morris County and surrounding areas were without power for a week! Let this serve as a reminder to us all that we can experience severe weather every month of the year causing disruption to business and home life. This is no time to let our guard down when it comes to disaster preparedness. Consider the following steps to better prepare for an emergency situation.
- Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps, and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts.
- Develop and test emergency communication plans.
- Assemble or update emergency supplies.
- Learn about local hazards, and conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions.
- Participate in a preparedness discussion, training, or class.
- Collect and safeguard critical documents.
- Plan with neighboring businesses to help each other and share resources.
- Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards.
- Improve property to reduce potential injury and property damage.
SERVPRO of North Morris County is prepared!