Storms and hurricanes are a terrible reminder that, despite ever-growing advancement within society, we are not always in control. If Mother Nature chooses to, a path of unstoppable destruction can tear through a town, city, or, in the case of Puerto Rico, an entire island.

The damage of Hurricane María completely destroyed more than 87,000 homes in Puerto Rico (with more than 385,000 other homes sustaining major damage). What’s more, roughly 250,000 Puerto Rico residents were displaced to the mainland United States, for some this became permanent.

As for financial cost, it’s estimated that Hurricane María has cost more than $90 billion, with 10,000 businesses affected by the hurricane. One of these businesses was Abartys Health, a centralized data hub for insurers, doctors, and patients that aims to reduce the $750 billion annual loss in the U.S. healthcare market.

Dolmarie Mendez, MBA, CHRS

Dolmarie Mendez, co-founder and CEO of Abartys Health

Incredibly, despite the devastating impact of Maria, this tech company was still able to operate and function due to fantastic organization and preparation reported in a recent Entrepreneur article titled “How Our Growing Tech Company Stayed Open During Hurricane María.” The co-founder and CEO, Dolmarie Mendez, believes the company’s ability to survive hinged on two key factors.

Firstly, “have a dependable disaster plan — and stick to it” which consists of five distinct components – An emergency home base, A designated person to leave before a predicted disaster, Logistical and technical considerations made beforehand, A means for maintaining contact with clients (and leads) and Sensitivity to your team’s needs.

In addition to this plan, Mendez believes that it is crucial to “build a team and a company culture you can trust.” She states “The whole experience validated my belief that a great company needs to prioritize cultivating talented, self-motivated and resourceful people. It also taught me that whether a company makes this a priority may become the measure of its resilience. When storm clouds hit, this is what will decide whether your company will swim or sink.”

Evidently, like most well-executed plans, preparation is key, and as Abartys Health has demonstrated a business can stay strong in the face of disaster, even if that disaster is a category 4 storm.