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With storm season just around the corner, restoration companies face immense pressure to be fully prepared for the challenges ahead. Even though storm season is predictable, with hurricanes arriving like clockwork each year, the challenges they bring are always unpredictable and chaotic. Hurricanes demand the right tools and a well-practiced plan, and your company's Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) must be more than just documents—they must be battle-ready blueprints. 

In this weekly how-to, powered by KnowHow, we will guide you through conducting a pre-hurricane season internal audit. This audit will help examine your team’s readiness levels, resource availability, staff training, communication protocols, and equipment functionality. By identifying and addressing any gaps now, you can help your team confidently handle hurricane response efforts once the storm hits. 

Note: This Weekly Hands-On How-To was based on this template in KnowHow’s template library.

Common Elements to Include in Your Audit Report:

Before diving into the steps, knowing what your audit report should encompass is important. Here are some of the most common elements to include in your report:

  • Overview: A summary of the audit scope, objectives, and methodology.
  • Strengths and Weaknesses: Detailed analysis of what the company is doing well and areas that need improvement.
  • Compliance Check: Evaluation of adherence to regulatory requirements and industry standards.
  • Resource Assessment: Review of resource availability and condition, including equipment, supplies, and personnel.
  • Training Evaluation: Assessment of staff training programs and effectiveness.
  • Communication Effectiveness: Evaluation of communication protocols and their efficiency.
  • Risk Analysis: Identification of potential risks and vulnerabilities.
  • Incident Review: Analysis of past incident reports and lessons learned.
  • Action Plan: Specific steps to address gaps, including timelines and responsible parties.
  • Follow-Up Schedule: Plan for subsequent audits to monitor progress and implementation of recommendations.

Now, let’s jump into the steps to ensure your restoration company is prepared and proactive as we enter this hurricane season.

Step 1: Pre-Audit Preparation

Start by assembling an audit team with key personnel from different departments, including operations, HR, logistics, and communications. Clearly define the scope and objectives of the audit and develop a detailed checklist covering all areas to be reviewed. 

  • Assemble an Audit Team: Include key personnel from operations, HR, logistics, and communications.
  • Define Audit Scope and Objectives: Specify what will be audited.
  • Develop an Audit Checklist: Cover all areas to be reviewed.


Step 2: Document Review

Collect all relevant documents for a thorough review. Gather SOPs related to hurricane response, employee training manuals, communication plans, resource inventory lists, and maintenance logs to ensure all procedures are current and reflect your best practices.


Step 3: Resource and Equipment Audit

Conduct a comprehensive inventory check to verify that all necessary equipment and PPE are available, in good condition, and properly stored. Review maintenance logs to ensure all equipment has been serviced according to schedule and essential supplies are adequately stocked and accessible. 

  • Inventory Check: Ensure all necessary equipment is available and in good condition.
  • Maintenance Records: Confirm equipment servicing.
  • Supply Stockpile: Verify essential supplies are stocked.  

Ensure all necessary equipment is available and in good condition

Step 4: Staff Training and Readiness

Verify that all staff has completed your organization’s required hurricane preparedness training. Review the frequency and outcomes of recent emergency drills and simulations, and confirm that all staff members know their roles during a hurricane event. 

  • Training Records: Ensure all staff have completed training.
  • Drills and Simulations: Review recent drills and their outcomes.
  • Role Assignments: Confirm staff awareness of their roles.


Step 5: Communication and Coordination

Ensure the communication plan is up-to-date and details how information will be disseminated. This includes emergency notification systems like text messages or phone calls to inform employees and provide updates. Activate internal communication channels such as email lists or dedicated platforms for timely information sharing. 

  • Communication Plan: Verify all staff know how they will receive communications.
  • Contact Lists: Ensure they are up-to-date.
  • Communication Systems: Test all methods, such as text messaging, phones, or internal communication platforms. 

Communication is KING!

Step 6: Site and Facility Preparedness

Conduct a thorough inspection of your company facilities to identify any vulnerabilities that could be exacerbated during a hurricane. This includes assessing structural integrity, potential flood zones, and the security of storage areas for equipment and supplies.  

Step 7: Review of Past Hurricane Responses

Analyze incident reports and outcomes from previous hurricane seasons to identify any potential recurring issues and areas for improvement. Ensure lessons learned have been incorporated into current SOPs, leveraging the expertise of your most experienced crew members to review past responses for greater insights.


Step 8: Reporting and Action Plan

Once you have completed all audit activities, compile your findings into a detailed report highlighting strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. Develop an action plan to address identified gaps and schedule follow-up audits to ensure continuous improvement.

  • Audit Report: Summarize findings, highlighting strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.
  • Action Plan: Address gaps with specific steps, timelines, and responsible parties.
  • Follow-Up Schedule: Plan subsequent audits to monitor progress and implementation of recommendations.

Stay Storm-Ready with a Little Help from KnowHow

A thorough pre-hurricane season audit boosts your team’s confidence and prepares your teams to face storms head-on. But to take their preparedness to the next level, leading restoration companies are turning to KnowHow. 

KnowHow is the perfect mobile and desktop application to streamline your operations this storm season, from onboarding new hires to providing instant on-the-job support. It connects your teams to comprehensive training materials and step-by-step guidance, all based on your SOPs, no matter where they are. 

Equip your team with the knowledge and resources they need to excel. Visit to discover how you can enhance your company’s hurricane preparedness and ensure every step you take is a step toward success.