As hurricane season looms, NJFX is ready. Of course, as a Cable Landing Station (CLS) campus, we already have a detailed disaster recovery plan to address various natural disasters, but how about a natural disaster in times of a global pandemic? For most of the world, this situation is completely uncharted territory. But the NJFX team considered this unusual dynamic well before hurricane season started and established a detailed plan with proper COVID-19 safety in mind.
We are living in unprecedented times due to COVID, but NJFX is handling the pandemic with the team’s usual forward-thinking approach. Much of the industry is still operating at limited capacities despite being deemed as ‘essential’, meaning they can get the resources where they are needed, but might be slower to do so with fewer employees. This makes the NJFX team’s proactiveness all the more valuable. We already have established supply chains and processes to ensure what we need is available and can be provided quickly. It is this focus on proactiveness that led our team to develop the following plan that goes into effect 24 to 72 hours before severe weather hits the area:
- Daily operations team meetings to review the storm’s status, and the potential impact it could have.
- Inventory of the supplies on hand across key areas of the facility.
- This preparation includes making sure there is enough food to last a minimum of 72 hours for two people to remain on-site during the hurricane, if needed. All non-critical employees will remain at home.
- Ensure there are supplies available in case of emergency, such as ropes, sandbags, tarps, flashlights, batteries, ratchets, etc.
- Assess diesel fuel levels to make sure there is sufficient reserve to ensure the facility doesn’t lose power. The process is in place with supply companies to get fuel on-site if needed and make sure they are ready to deliver. If necessary, NJFX will have a fuel truck on standby parked at the facility. 24 hours before the storm, our team will conduct a controlled switch to the generator to ensure it is working properly.
- Determine what current building load is and how long the fuel will last.
- Closely coordinate with critical vendors such as those that maintain generators and switch gear in the building.
- Maintain clear lines of communication with vendors to ensure support.
- Coordinate with our Homeland Security representative; if an emergency arises.
- Arrange to have satellite phones for one person on-site and one person off-site in case phone lines are impacted.
- Walk the grounds, perimeter and rooftop to make sure everything is secure and bring items inside as needed.
“At the end of the day, very few companies in our area are considering hurricanes as a major threat,” says Gil Santaliz, NJFX CEO. “But hurricanes do hit the Northeast, and can have a major impact as the state of New Jersey experienced with Hurricane Sandy. But that is what sets us apart; we’re ready and dedicated to ensuring our customers, employees and vendors are prepared and safe.”
COVID-Protected and Ready
Our hurricane preparedness plan and protocols are in addition to the existing COVID-19 measures our team already put in place. We are checking temperatures upon entrance to the building, ensuring that all individuals entering have a mask, and are limiting the number of people present in the building to ensure proper social distancing. NJFX Access and Administrative Manager, Lisa Edelstein is also working to ensure the safety of NJFX employees and customers that need to be in the building, both during COVID and in case of a hurricane-related emergency. She has plans in place to send notices to customers on how NJFX is handling things in the event of a storm to keep our community informed, reassured, and updated throughout the event. She also oversees site access and limits building access as appropriate.
And while all operations-based preparedness measures are critical to avoiding any and all downtime, NJFX also puts an emphasis on giving our employees and customers peace of mind. The current global situation is stressful in and of itself, add a hurricane on top of that and things can get intense. We put our employees top of mind and want to ensure they are protected, safe and following safety protocols.
“Our priority is to make sure our employees and their families are okay above all else,” said Ryan Imkemeier, Cable Landing Station Manager. “If an employee’s family has to evacuate due to a storm, then they’ll want the peace of mind knowing that their family is safe and has a family readiness plan in place.”
This high level of preparedness is what sets NJFX apart. We consider these uncertainties before they become a true threat. Our team has orchestrated a “full-court press” with all team members to ensure that there is no impact in the case of an emergency. And this planning is all the more important during times that are already uncertain and stressful without the presence of severe weather. The NJFX team is prepared and here to help.