Hello, readers, and welcome back to our blog. The 2017 hurricane season is in full-force, with Hurricane Harvey causing widespread devastation to communities in Southeast Texas. From all of us here at Forerunner Insurance, our thoughts go out to all those who have been affected by this destructive storm.
Hurricane Irma is quickly approaching Florida, and we can only hope that this event will be more forgiving than Harvey; however, reports suggest that this may be one of the worst hurricanes to hit the nations and islands in the Atlantic, as well as the Sunshine State and the surrounding areas. The best thing those living in Florida can do is prepare themselves, their homes, and their businesses for the impending storm, which will likely wreak havoc upon all of Florida’s communities in the next few days. For commercial property owners and business owners alike, there is much to consider and prepare for in order to protect the physical property of your business, its contents, its virtual contents, and of course, the people who make a business function and prosper. Preparing for the worst may safeguard many important aspects of a business and commercial property, and may help mitigate recovery and restoration time after the storm has done its damage. Here, listed in part one of a short blog series, are a few safe practices and precautionary measures property and business owners should take to prepare their building and place of business for the damage a hurricane may cause. Please continue reading below.
Review Your Commercial Insurance Policy
One of the first things a business or property owner should do before a hurricane hits is to take a few minutes to review their commercial insurance policy. This can be helpful for understanding what is and is not covered in the event of a devastating hurricane, such as the one currently rushing towards Florida’s shores. Make note of any portions of the policy which you may want clarification on, and highlight any aspects of the policy that may be lacking. Does your comprehensive policy cover hurricane damage and/or wind and flooding, or is there an added policy which covers these events? It’s best to have a good understanding of your policy, while also knowing what steps you’ll need to take to file a commercial property claim, which we will go over in a future blog post as part of this series. If you have any questions or need assistance with purchasing a commercial policy, or finding a new one that will cover your individual needs as specific to your property and business, call us at Forerunner Insurance Group immediately. We will be more than happy to assist you in any way we can.
Devise a Comprehensive Plan
It’s important to create an effective hurricane plan that is written down and reviewed annually, especially before or during the hurricane season. For many companies and businesses, OSHA requires an Emergency Action Plan (EAP), which may make the process of developing a plan much more simple and easier to manage. View OSHA’s EAP requirements here where you can also gain access to many wonderful resources such as an EAP template, and access additional emergency assistance provided on the OSHA EAP page. When developing a comprehensive plan for a hurricane, you should address the following:
- Policies and procedures that may safeguard employee and even tenant safety.
- Business continuity and contingency plans for possible damage caused to a business structure, facilities, property, contents, assets, vehicles, and more.
- Determine how your business will move forward in dealing with employees, customers, vendors, and those who purchase goods in which you manufacture.
These are just a few of the ways commercial property and business owners can begin preparing their businesses and properties for a hurricane. Thank you for reading the first installment of our blog series, which we hope you’ll find helpful in the days before Hurricane Irma makes landfall here in Florida. Remember, our team of insurance professionals here at Forerunner Insurance Group is standing by to help you, so please feel free to contact us. Please know we are wishing the very best for all of those in our community and beyond who may be affected by Hurricane Irma. Stay safe out there and check back for part two of our blog series.