PART V: Emergency Preparation & Response for Foodservice & Retail Food Establishments

Mark Miklos, CP-FS

It seems that no matter when we prepare the next installment of our Emergency Preparation & Response series or at what intervals a volume of the series follows the one that proceeded it, there is a named storm making headlines and threatening the United States.  Now it is Hurricane Zeta (there have been so many that NOAA has had to resort to the Greek alphabet to supplement the conventional naming protocol).  It is therefore fitting that as we gear up for yet another storm we should review how to close and secure your food establishment in preparation for an evacuation.  A smart and efficient closing will make reopening that much smoother.  Closing a unit in the face of a storm should never be a random event.

To aid you in understanding what to do and how to do it we recommend creating a Unit Closing Checklist.  Assignments and responsibilities can be subdivided into a few key categories such as food, equipment, the building itself, the office, and some general considerations.  What follows is a partial list for each category to give you the idea.  Now let us look at them in turn.



Your Building:


General Considerations:

As with so many of the suggestions and strategies contained throughout this blog series, we are indebted to Waffle House, Inc., a company with a well-deserved and long-standing reputation for hurricane response.  In recognition of the excellent work done by this restaurant operating company in helping communities return to normal faster the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) has coined the phrase, “The Waffle House Index” when it measures the severity of a natural disaster.

We have now reached the end of our series on Emergency Preparation & Response and we hope it has been of value to you.

Let us Review…

It has been a privilege to share this series with you.  At Active Food Safety we have the expertise to help you on your emergency planning journey whether you are just beginning or already have robust plans in need of review.

Mark Miklos, CP-FS

Partner, Active Food Safety