A survey conducted by the Puerto Rico Manufacturing Extension (PRiMEX, in Spanish) of 120 120 food and agro-industrial manufacturing companies revealed a need for the island’s small- and mid-sized businesses to better prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.
Furthermore, the study that was carried out from the beginning of this year through April 24, also revealed a need for companies to establish contingency and business continuity plans to address atmospheric events, as well as health threats such as the COVID-19 virus.
The PRiMEX study revealed that the major changes that companies made to be better prepared for a possible natural disaster were the acquisition of power generators and a water storage tanks.
Following the January earthquakes, more than half of the companies surveyed are not conducting emergency drills with their employees. In addition, they have experienced hacker attacks on a personal level; however, they do not have a cyber-security plan, said Ramón Vega, director of PRiMEX.
Meanwhile, the most recent report released by the Manufacturing Disaster Assistance Program showed that 76% of the companies surveyed said they were 100% recovered from the damages inflicted by Hurricane María in 2017. Of these companies, 87% confirmed that their financial condition is the same or better than before the storm, but 84% of companies do not have a business continuity plan have yet to fully recover.
“Most of the companies surveyed continue to experience more frequent blackouts and voltage fluctuations after Hurricane María. Let’s hope that the new Puerto Rico Public Energy Policy Act of 2019 helps to minimize the average days without electricity and voltage fluctuations after a natural disaster event by moving toward renewable energy,” said Vega.