Severe weather can be devastating to a business. Preparation is your greatest ally to ensure that your business can survive when storms hit. Taking proper steps now to get your business ready for these disasters will be the best protection both during and after storms.
Maintenance & Repairs
- Be sure all inspections for pipes, plumbing fixtures, overall structure, and roof are up to date and that any necessary repairs have been made.
- Maintain gutters and keep them clear of debris. Install barriers to prevent flooding.
- Consider upgrading to impact glass windows if you are in a high-risk area for flooding and storm surges.
- Test all systems and back-up equipment before weather hits.
- Keeps supplies like sandbags, tools, generators, and fuel well-stocked.
- Store valuables, electronics, and important documents at a higher level.
- Protect data & important documents. Backup all important data to an external hard-drive or cloud-based system. Store critical documents, paperwork, and plans in a waterproof safe or filing cabinet placed a few feet above the ground.
- As the storm makes it way, prepare your building by securing interior and exterior property. Move furniture and equipment away from windows. Turn off the electricity before you leave.
- Take any other necessary precautions to avoid injury to people and prevent unnecessary damage to your property.
Emergency Response Plans
- Create a disaster response plan. This should include how you will protect your property and employees during severe weather or other natural disasters. Plans should be reviewed annually.
- Create a sheet with emergency contacts. Include contacts for building supervisors, other tenants, water restoration services, plumbers, and anyone else you may need to contact in case of an emergency or closure due to damages.
- Create a Business Continuity Plan. The plan should include how you will do business with as little downtime as possible in the event of severe or catastrophic weather. Ideas and resources for these plans can be found here.
- All employees should be knowledgeable about any emergency plans. Be sure they are well informed about protocol for before, during, and after storms. They will also need to know when it is safe to return to the building.
- Know what your insurance Review your policy with your agent annually and evaluate your plan to ensure you have adequate coverage for all possible risks.
- Consider taking photos and video footage of your property to keep on record in the event that a claim needs to be filed.
Dealing with severe weather is never easy. You cannot control the weather, but you can do your best to prepare for these disasters. Doing so will make the process a lot easier and offer your best protections against mother nature.
Related Blog Posts:
Additional References & Resources: