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hurricane-beryl-port-lavaca-restaurant-texas-preparation.jpg Mark Felix / Contributor / Getty images
Workers board up a restaurant in Port Lavaca, Texas, on July 7, as they prepare for Hurricane Beryl. Port Lavaca is southwest of Galveston. The storm made landfall Monday morning as a Category 1 hurricane on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Texas restaurants cope with Hurricane Beryl aftermath

Operators offered checklist as government agency predicts ‘very high likelihood’ of above-normal Atlantic season

The Texas Restaurant Association has issued a list of critical resources for operators impacted by the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted “a very high likelihood” of being above normal.

NOAA earlier in the year predicted an 85% chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, with 17 to 25 named storms. The average is 14. The agency predicted eight to 13 hurricanes, against an average of seven, and four to seven major hurricanes, against an average of three.

Hurricane Beryl, which made landfall Monday on the Texas Gulf Coast after buffeting the Caribbean and Cancun, had been downgraded by late Monday morning to a tropical storm, predicted to spread as much as eight inches of rainfall in East Texas and heightening the potential for tornadoes. More than 2.5 million Texas customers were without power as of late morning Monday, according to the PowerOutage.US website.

Before Beryl, the Texas Restaurant Association sent a newsletter with resources that it developed with commercial partners for members before, during and after such a widespread storm.

The association suggested operators consult the Texas Department of Emergency Management, the state’s central point for updates about individual disasters, and the Small Business Administration’s Hurricane Checklist.

Before a Storm: Prevention Resources

Preparing before a storm included safeguarding the restaurant and ensuring the safety employees and customers. Resources include:

  • from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Detailed preparation tips, toolkits, and more to help families and businesses prepare for disasters. That website is also available in Spanish: Listo.
  • Steps to purchase a flood insurance policy, prepare for flooding, and file a flood claim.

The association also offered tips to prepare for the storms, such as:

  • Ensuring Employee Safety: Prioritize evacuation if orders are issued and secure hazardous materials and equipment.
  • Protecting Property: Board up windows, move outdoor items indoors, and follow any utility shutdown advice.
  • Stocking Up: Gather non-perishable food, water, batteries, and other essentials.
  • Establishing a Communications Plan: Keep updated contact information for employees, suppliers, and emergency services.
  • Documenting and Planning: Keep important documents safe, and record any potential damages for insurance claims.

During the Storm: Safety and Updates

The association offering these resources and tips to help managers during a storm:

Practical tips for during a storm included:

  • Stay indoors in a safe, secure location away from windows and potential hazards.
  • Track real-time updates on power outages and road conditions to manage the restaurant’s needs.
  • Follow essential food safety guidelines to protect food during power outages.
  • Keep up with local news for the latest updates and emergency instructions from authorities, such as evacuation orders and advice on transportation.

After the Storm: Recovery and Assistance

Once the storm has passed, the association offering resources and tips to help restaurant operators recover:

And the association’s tips for operations after a storm:

  • Assess Damage: Evaluate property for any damage and make necessary repairs.
  • Seek Financial Support: Look into available financial assistance options for recovery, including insurance claims and disaster relief programs.
  • Support Employees: Provide aid and updates to employees impacted by the storm.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with local news and community recovery efforts for the latest information and resources.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on X/Twitter: @RonRuggless

TAGS: Operations
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