Have you taken steps to prepare your commercial property for the possibility of a severe storm or hurricane? Investing in storm preparedness now can limit the need for emergency repairs. It can also give you peace of mind and a bit of confidence during what may otherwise be a chaotic moment in the life of your business.
Read on to learn more about the measures you can take before a storm to protect your commercial property from a worst-case scenario.
Tip #1: Research Your Risks
Taking the time to understand the different threats your property faces from storms can help you create a plan that reduces its vulnerabilities. Some of the most dangerous aspects of a hurricane include high wind speeds and torrential rains.
Through the FEMA Flood Map Service Center, you can determine whether your business is at risk of experiencing damage from flooding and storm surges. You may also want to enlist the help of a licensed professional to inspect your property and determine if there is a need to retrofit for your property to better withstand storms.
Tip #2: Conduct Advanced Planning
There are a number of tasks you can complete well in advance of storm season to save time and minimize stress after a hurricane warning is issued. This includes creating a contact list of all your employees. Be sure this list can be accessed outside of the office, so you can maintain contact during and after an emergency event.
You’ll also want to compile a list of other individuals or organizations you may need to communicate with, such as major clients, insurance companies, suppliers, and contractors.
Now’s also the time to brainstorm your customer-facing communications strategy for emergency situations. Having a plan on how to communicate during an emergency can prevent the loss of customers during a difficult time. Your team may decide to contact clients directly, post notices at your business, or send out an email blast with updates about your plans prior to a storm and your status once the storm has passed.
In addition, you’ll want to have detailed photos or videos of your property prepared to use for insurance claims in the case of damage.
Tip #3: Review Last-Minute Storm Preparedness Tasks
As soon as you are given warning that a storm is headed your way, there are several steps you’ll need to take to brace your property for impact. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Clear drains, gutters, and downspouts to ensure adequate drainage during the storm
- Secure or remove antennas or other objects on the roof
- Bring in displays and outdoor signs
- Clear loose objects from desks and tabletops
- Remove wall hangings
- Place important records in a safe, elevated location
- Disconnect electrical appliances and equipment
- Close windows and board them up if needed
- Lock all entrances to the building as you exit
Tip #4: Know What to Do After a Storm
The steps you take immediately after a storm are often as critical as those you take prior to the storm. Ensure your employees have explicit information about what to do after a storm passes.
If your building has experienced any damage, you’ll need to have a designated emergency response team to assess the property before personnel are allowed back into the building. Safety hazards, such as leaking gas, live wires, or piping damage, could be present making it crucial that the property is professionally inspected before you reoccupy the building.
Is your commercial property prepared to weather a storm? Call AMW Contracting today at 904-725-4197 for details about how our storm preparedness services can help protect your business.