Hurricane Season Ready
Hurricane Season is upon us and while most commercial facilities along the coasts have been built to withstand hurricane-force winds, building managers can take several additional steps to reduce the damage that can occur during major storms.
These actions can help protect your facility and help the Utilities when and if they need to restore service in your area.
Understand Your Risks
The four key trademarks of a hurricane are high wind speeds, storm surges, torrential rains, and tornadoes – any one of them can put your business at risk during a storm.
Know Your Disaster Response
Although most major commercial and industrial organizations have well-established disaster response plans in place, conducting an audit of your emergency strategy is never a bad idea. Before a storm hits, be sure to:
- Review the company’s property insurance policy to ensure the business is adequately covered against major storm damage.
- Remind staff of all hurricane-related policies and procedures and inform essential employees of their specific roles and responsibilities in the event of an emergency.
- Make sure all emergency supplies are adequately stocked.
- Revisit plans for protecting computer files to make certain critical data is secured through a backup system.
- Have your SERVPRO® ERP handy so that you can have and give direct access to the information needed.
As a Storm Approaches
As soon as a warning is issued for a hurricane or tropical storm, property managers should check the facility’s interior and exterior surroundings and take appropriate safety measures.
- Bring in exterior displays and remove any outdoor signs or other items that could become airborne in high winds. Board up glass doors and windows or tape an “X” over them to prevent shattering.
- Disconnect all electrical devices except for refrigerators. Experts also recommend turning off electricity (except for those circuits running refrigeration) at the power supply box.
- Clear all desk or work surfaces of small items and take down all loosely secured items hung on the walls.
- Move equipment and furniture away from windows.
- Make sure key employees know the processes and procedures that will need to take place before allowing people back in the building once the storm has passed.
- Shut down non-critical building systems when all employees are evacuated.
After a Storm Passes
Employees should wait to return to the building until authorities indicate it is safe to do so. A designated emergency response team should then conduct an assessment of the property before allowing people back onto the premises.