Hello, and welcome back. In our last post, we began exploring some of the ways commercial property and business owners can prepare their businesses and facilities for a hurricane. After Hurricane Harvey ripped through communities throughout Southeast Texas, and with Hurricane Irma right at Florida’s doorstep, these tips may help those in the path of the storm and in the surrounding areas protect their property, buildings, contents, and assets. We recommend reading part one, but to briefly recap, we suggested reviewing your commercial property insurance policy to ensure that you have a solid understanding of what is and is not covered. We also recommended using OSHA’s Emergency Action Plan (EAP) as a guideline for devising an effective comprehensive plan for a hurricane emergency to safeguard all aspects of a business and facility. Taking the steps to prepare for a devastating storm, which we will explore in today’s post, may also help during the recovery and restoration phases after a storm. Please continue reading below to learn more.
Determine a Disaster’s Effects
It’s crucial to listen and pay attention to meteorologists’ up-to-date reports on the storm’s severity and their predictions for what types of substorms and events may accompany the hurricane. In most cases, flooding and extremely high winds are the major occurrences that come along with these storms; however, hurricanes often spawn multiple tornados. Additionally, rising waters that carry everything along with it in its path cause severe damage to buildings and other structures. You must also consider fires and explosions which almost certainly will happen. Pay attention to reports regarding the different phases of a hurricane, and how long each is expected to last, which offers a timeframe that can help you plan for the storm.
Determine Procedures and Crisis Management
Having a plan intact that identifies which personnel are required to be or will be on-site in the days surrounding a hurricane can help a business remain intact during and after a storm. Make a list for all employees informing them which of the staff is essential to maintaining business function during a storm. For small businesses, this may not be quite as crucial, but it will be for larger companies, especially those involved in shipping, transport, manufacturing, and so on.
Protect the integrity of your property and building by creating a checklist that you can use to determine which functions are essential to keeping your business operational and your property functioning properly in the days surrounding a storm. Most importantly, inspect your property and facility, including the roof, sewers and drains, drainage pumps, floor drains, sump pumps, and window and door latches. Board up windows and glass doors to protect all glass surfaces from flying debris. Identifying these issues can help protect a facility from further damage by reducing the risks that may lead to interior flooding, damaged contents, and more.
We hope you have found these recommendations helpful as you prepare your business and commercial property for the oncoming storm. Thank you for reading part two of this blog series, and be sure to check back for the conclusion in our next blog. As always, our dedicated team at Forerunner Insurance Group is here to ensure you have access to the best commercial property insurance Florida has to offer. Contact our team to purchase a policy so that you and your business are covered or reach out to us if you have any questions about an existing policy. Please know our thoughts are with all of those in our Florida communities and beyond who may be affected by Hurricane Irma. Stay safe.