7 Steps to Protect Your Business from a Hurricane

If you are a business owner, a hurricane can heavily impact your future and the future of your employees. Taking steps now to protect your business from a hurricane should one come roaring ashore benefits everyone.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts a near-normal hurricane season this year. That’s good news overall. However, they are predicting between 4 to 8 tropical storms will evolve into hurricanes. Moreover, half of those are likely to become hurricanes falling in the range of three to five.

Even one hurricane of that magnitude is too many.

Ensuring you are prepared makes for good business sense. Don’t assume that average equals no worries though!

Get in line now

The damage a hurricane leaves behind keep construction companies backed up with business for weeks, months, or even years depending on its size and strength. If you have a contractor that you rely on, contact them now. If you don’t, start looking. Getting on the list now is crucial.

Time is money.

Even though you may pay out of this world insurance premiums to guard against hurricane damage, you need to be able to depend on the fact that someone will soon be there to set things right again.

Protection is paramount

When disaster strikes, the safety of everyone in the facility is at the forefront of every employer’s mind. Granted, hurricanes don’t just spring up out of nowhere. You will have time to notify and prepare.

Ready.gov‘s disaster preparedness advice covers many possible scenarios. You might want to look it over. It doesn’t hurt to refresh yourself occasionally.

Regarding hurricanes though, do you have an emergency preparation plan?

Three valuable points to consider are:

  • Establishing a communication system for reaching customers, employees, and emergency services.
  • Evacuation information that is accessible to all customers and employees.
  • Document the rendezvous point where everyone will meet and organize.

In addition, regular training sessions for employees ensures that they follow the plan of action in place if the need arises.

Stay tuned in

Keeping abreast of the weather situation is important. Hurricanes are unpredictable in that the course can veer one way or the other in minutes. Also, if the storm gains strength, it could reach shore sooner than originally expected.

Make sure the contact information that you have for employees is current. For example, an employee who obtains a new phone number may not think to have their file updated. They call into work but don’t usually expect work to call them.

Backup and secure documentation

Operating a business and documentation go hand in hand. Another way to protect your business is the operational aspect. Make sure to have any pertinent information stored digitally if possible and secure the hard copy. Then, after the fact, you can pick up where you left off.

As well as can be expected anyway.

You may even consider duplicating documents and storing them off-site. Moving tons of paperwork from one place to another may not be the best course of action, however. Odds are you aren’t going to t want to physically take it far enough away to escape the onslaught of the storm.

It’s worth mentioning that remote cloud backup is a thing. Virtual storage may sound a little shaky but rest assured that it is a sound choice for businesses everywhere. Even the rough and ready construction industry utilizes the cloud for the business end of things. Hard Hat IT specializes in serving them. 

“Remote cloud backup virtually eliminates the need for a trip to the file cabinet.” said Jonathan Schoeneck, founder of Hard Hat IT, “Everything’s right there at your fingertips. You may see an increase in productivity due to time saved rummaging through documents.”

Building preparation

We’re going to assume that you have all the major building protection in place already and not spend a lot of time rehashing.

Just in case you haven’t beefed up the building, though, we’ll give you some information that will point you in the right direction.

Windows

Hurricane resistant windows are nothing short of amazing! You will rest assured that you took your best shot to protect your business. The amount of force they can withstand by flying debris coupled with wind and water resistance ensures your business is as safe as it can be.

Reece Windows is a local manufacturer that literally handles the job from start to finish. They not only build your windows, but they also install them. A family-owned company, Reece has been in business for over 50 years. You can count on them to provide exceptional customer service as well as windows that will take a beating.

Roofs

Ensuring that your roof is as secure as it can be is key to the building surviving a hurricane. Once it is rendered useless, the chances that the building won’t survive increase greatly.

Safety methods vary depending on the type of roof you have.

Doors

Reinforced doors are a good idea, too. Hurricane resistant glass is used in addition to beefing up the frame. Keeping your door attached to its hinges is a good thing.

If you have a warehouse or garage area, make sure to reinforce those doors as well.

Upkeep 

Clean out the floor drains and check to ensure the sump pump is working. Torrential rains warrant them working at the best of their ability.

Emergency generators need to be at the ready because power outages are extremely likely. Not to mention the fact that they could last for weeks or months even. Make sure they are filled and good to go.

Check your fire protection equipment, such as sprinkler systems, to determine it is working properly.

For that matter, fill the tanks on all company vehicles.

There She Blows

We realize that hurricanes are no longer gender-specific, but if the phrase fits…

When a hurricane is looming closer to the coastline, it’s crunch time. 

If you have above-ground tanks, check the anchors and fill them with water or product so they’re more likely to stay put.

Tie down small outbuildings and sheds that aren’t designed for high winds. Also, bring any items that are in danger of becoming flying debris. Those decorative flower urns will make pretty substantial missiles.

Shut off the gas, water, and electricity.

In conclusion, your business may suffer damage if struck by a hurricane. However, taking steps now to protect your business can minimize it.

Hopefully, the thing will turn around and head back to sea.

If that’s not the case, we hope your company will soon be shipshape and back to smooth sailing.

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