Hurricane Preparedness for Businesses

Hurricane season lasts from June 1st until November 30th. These storms start out as tropical disturbances over warm waters in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans where rain clouds are building. Once the tropical disturbance grows into rotating thunderstorms with winds less than 38mph it is known as a tropical depression. As the storm gets more intense, it is known as a tropical storm and then once it reaches wind speeds of 74mph, the hurricane is formed. These large, swirling storms are categorized on a scale of 1 -5, 5 being the worst. High tides, flooding, heavy rainfall, flying debris, loss of power, are all affects from these strong storms.

Meteorologists pay close attention to tropical disturbances in order to track their progression and predict how strong the storm will be, giving the residents in potentially affected areas enough time to become prepared. Residents in the Houston, TX area should already have hurricane plans and preparation measures in effect, as this area has seen the damaging effects from past hurricanes. Once an area has been warned, businesses should start to begin taking the appropriate steps to prevent substantial loss.

Tips on preparing your business for a hurricane may include:

  • Reviewing your property insurance and discussing it with your agent to determine your coverage
  • Creating procedures for protecting your business and its contents
  • Creating a plan for implementing hurricane procedures and training employees on them
  • Determine when the procedures will be implemented
  • Identify what supplies will be necessary
  • Create an employee alert roster
  • Make plans to protect electronics
  • Create an employee identification system
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Preparing the exterior of your business

When it comes to the exterior of your building, being prepared is key. At the beginning of hurricane seasons, businesses should make sure their drains, gutters, and downspouts are cleaned out. When an alert or Watch is issued, loose objects should be removed from the roof. Hurricane shutters should be installed over glass windows and doors. The shutters are used to protect structures from damage caused by the strong storms, especially to protect windows from being broken by flying objects. Display racks and signs, as well as other loose objects that are left outside should be placed inside and anything that cannot be brought in should be secured tightly. Sandbags along the doorways can protect against interior flooding.

Hurricanes are strong storms that can cause a lot of damage. Making sure you have a plan for your business and knowing the steps for preparation is key as it can help you against the devastation of a hurricane and lead to a speedy and more successful recovery.