If your business is located in a hurricane region, don’t wait to act. Take these necessary steps to mitigate against loss and damage before hurricane season even starts.
Climate change is a reality and its effects can be seen by an increased frequency and severity of natural catastrophes, including hurricanes. A hurricane is a severe tropical storm that forms in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast Pacific Ocean, or the South Pacific Ocean. Hurricanes need warm tropical oceans, moisture, and light winds above them. If the right conditions last long enough, a hurricane can produce violent winds, incredible waves, torrential rains, and floods.
Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th. Don’t get caught off guard. Advances in technology and weather tracking have made it easier to detect these storms before they make landfall. Proper preparation and action steps can help reduce damage and potential loss of life dramatically.
To help protect your property in the event of a hurricane, preparation is key. Below are a few tips to help prepare your property and equipment before a hurricane occurs.
When a hurricane watch is issued, activate your facility’s Emergency Action Plan and ensure copies are accessible off-site. Listen to the radio, TV, or NOAA Weather Radio for updates on the storm’s progress. Be sure to evacuate non-essential personnel. Check fuel levels on emergency vehicles, backup generators, fire pump fuel tanks, and move any equipment inside the building or to a safe location, if possible.
Inspect and prepare your property and equipment by covering all windows and doors with shutters or shielding materials. Anchor and secure all equipment stored outside. Brace all signs, tanks, and roof equipment. It’s best to remove all awnings and lightweight outdoor coverings.
Elevate all possible vital records, valuables, and furniture to protect them against flooding and wind. Secure backup records off-site, away from the targeted hurricane area.
It’s important to stay connected and up to date on the storm’s progress through weather updates. During a hurricane, aside from completing preparation activities, if it’s safe to do so, patrol the facilities to check for leaks and fire protection system impairments. Shut off valves when pipes have broken and complete emergency repairs that are safe to perform.
Move to a safe area before you are cut off by floodwater, and most importantly, follow instructions issued by local officials. Leave the facility immediately if you are told to do so.
For more information on how you can prepare, plan, and recover from a hurricane email us at RiskEngineeringServices@chubb.com.