With hurricane season still a threat to the east coast, it’s important to be extra cautious with your business in order to maintain the integrity of its infrastructure. Winds of a hurricane can reach upwards of 156 mph and, based on where your company is located, could mean bad news for your buildings. Turn to our list of top priority preparations for tropical weather this season:
Clear Debris Prior to the Storm
One quick and easy tip to safeguard your building is to keep debris away from the area in which your company has rooted itself. Hurricane winds will easily pick up anything light enough and unintentionally throw it right at your building’s windows. With that being said, you can’t always keep every piece of debris away from your building(s), so strong windows will be waiting to lift what’s left. This should be done 48 hours before your area is affected.
Invest in High-Impact Glass
Taping up your windows will, unfortunately, not work. It’s suggested that if you live in a hurricane prone area, you should utilize high-impact glass. These usually consist of two panes of tempered glass separated by a plastic film. High impact glass can help keep your business and what’s inside from being damaged. These windows also block powerful UV rays, making that a smart move towards energy efficiency, as well. No matter what, they will stay in place and greatly increase the chance of your business withstanding the storm surge.
Install Tracks for Shutter Installments
If you aren’t interested in changing the windows of your building (which should be done every so often), you can always install tracks for shutter installments that would only be placed on the tracks in preparation for a hurricane. This will also be a great way to keep what’s inside IN, and what’s outside OUT. There are a wide variety of options when it comes to picking out shutters. You need to find the best type for your area based on what they need to be able to withstand.
Keep Those Gutters Clean
When’s the last time your gutters were cleaned? Doing so is essential in keeping your business from experiencing flooding. With the amount of rain hurricanes can dump on one area, it’s important that it has a place to go that’s not inside your company’s hallways. Clean gutters will allow the water to flow freely and rapidly away from damaging your stuff, and, on plus side, it’s not difficult to do! This should be done at least 48 hours before the storm begins.
Secure Your Roof
After cleaning the gutters, make sure that your roof is held down tightly. The best way to keep it intact is with hurricane clips. They will help to secure the bond between your roof and the trusses or rafters. These won’t completely erase the chance of the roof uplifting, but it does lower those odds.
Have a Backup Source of Energy
A backup generator can also come in handy when those pesky power lines are knocked down by the powerful winds. There are zoning codes based on where your company resides so you must check those before trying to place the generator wherever you’d like. They can be noisy, so keep that in mind. Generators are very helpful in cases where you work from home or are dependent on electricity. They can help keep your operations running when the weather isn’t permitting it. Just make sure you are prepared and don’t wait until last minute, because generator prices will increase, as with demand, come hurricane season.
Turn Off and Unplug Electronics/Appliances
If electricity is not necessary because you’re right in the path of a flood, you need to make sure the electricity is shut off. You may even consider removing appliances and important items from the lower level of your business. Sand bags are always an option in hopes that it could keep out the water and save your business from high damage costs. This should be done at least 12 hours before the storm as you are evacuating.
Have a Plan
In the midst of making sure your building and company site is prepared, there are other precautions you should take for you and the company’s safety. Being prepared for a storm can never start too early. 72 hours before the storm, we suggest confirming that all of your emergency contact information is current and correct. In case of emergencies, you should keep a radio with extra back-up batteries handy to be aware of any news updates. Also, make sure you have an abundance of anything needed to make sure everything is set and ready to brace for the storm, i.e. clips, tape, tarps, and sandbags.
At least 48 hours before the storm be sure to back up any of your company’s information in case of a power shortage or black out. That way you won’t be in danger of losing practically everything. Band up loose articles and make sure you remove anything from fences and scaffolding that may be a threat. 24 hours prior, review all of your checklists and then begin securing your windows and take pictures of the site for insurance reasons. Make sure to take an inventory of all your equipment to know if anything has gone missing. Remove anything from the building or site that has not yet or cannot be secured.
Finally, 12 hours before you’re hit with the hurricane, review your 24-hour checklist. This is when you should begin evacuating the site.
Hurricane season is not to be taken lightly. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to have your business be OVER prepared than UNDER prepared. If your business needs further guidance, please visit our blog or give us a call at 843-546-4491.