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Guide to Business Hurricane Preparedness: Tips for Facility Management

NOAA predicts as many as 25 named storms and 7 major hurricanes from June 1 through November 30. It's crucial for businesses along the Southeast and mid-Atlantic coasts, and other areas frequently affected by hurricanes, to proactively prepare to avoid last-minute surge fees and ensure the safety of their property and employees. Proper planning and taking preventive measures can make a significant difference in minimizing damages, reducing costs, and ensuring a quick recovery. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how businesses can prepare for hurricane season:

Long-Term Preparation

Long-term planning focuses on enhancing your property’s overall resistance to hurricanes. Here are some key steps to consider:

  1. Inspect and Secure Roof-Mounted Items: Ensure signs, equipment, guy wires, and supports are properly anchored and in good repair.

  2. Repair Weak Points: Fix or replace any weak or damaged windows, door hinges, and latches.

  3. Window and Opening Protection: Establish a system to protect windows and other openings using shutters, plywood, etc.

  4. Emergency Power: Have generators or other emergency power sources available and test them periodically.

  5. Flood Protection: Create levees or flood walls if you are in a flood zone. Plan the placement of sandbags to divert water away from buildings. Protect low-lying entrances and avoid using basements for critical storage.

  6. Sewer and Drainage Protection: Install shut-off valves on sewer and drainage lines to prevent reverse flow.

  7. Stock and Material Safety: Store water-sensitive materials on pallets or racks.

  8. Emergency Supplies: Assemble necessary supplies like portable pumps, emergency lighting, sandbags, shovels, tarpaulins, and more in a secure location.

  9. Secure Outside Equipment: Secure or move outside equipment and hazardous materials to safe locations.

  10. Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Safety: Identify safe storage areas for vehicles and equipment.

  11. Vendor Contracts: Establish contracts with vendors for critical equipment restoration and cleanup services.

Short-Term Preparation: As a Hurricane Approaches

Short-term preparations should be implemented as a hurricane approaches, based on weather forecasts. Here’s what to do:

  1. Monitor Weather Forecasts: Keep a close eye on hurricane forecasts.

  2. Update Contact Lists: Ensure employee contact lists are up to date.

  3. Secure Property: Secure doors, shutter or board up windows, clean out floor drains, and catch basins.

  4. Move Vehicles and Equipment: Relocate vehicles and mobile equipment to safe areas.

  5. Anchor Aboveground Tanks: Fill tanks with product or water to secure them.

  6. Fill Emergency Fuel Tanks: Fill fuel tanks for emergency generators and fire pumps.

  7. Protect Important Records: Secure important records or move duplicates to a safe off-site location.

  8. Power and Production Shutdown: Safely shut down production processes and noncritical power systems.

  9. Shut Off Flammable Lines: Turn off all flammable liquid, combustible liquid, and gas lines.

  10. Employee Evacuation: Evacuate all employees to a safe location.

  11. Secure Loose Items: Tie down sheds and move items that could become flying debris indoors.

Plan for Hurricane Recovery

Post-storm planning is essential for a smooth recovery. Here’s how to prepare.

  1. Assemble Recovery Team: Identify key employees for the recovery team and assign a leader.

  2. Safety Assessment: Assess safety hazards, structural damage, and impaired fire protection equipment.

  3. Temporary Repairs: Make temporary repairs to allow safe access to the building.

  4. Photograph Damage: Document all damage with photos or videos for insurance and recovery purposes.

  5. Repair Critical Systems: Check and repair electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and fire protection systems.

  6. Security and Communication: Maintain security and keep employees informed about unsafe conditions and progress.

Hero Facility Services Phone Number

At Hero Facility Services, we understand the importance of being prepared for hurricane season. We offer essential supplies such as sandbags and window coverings to help Facility Manager's safeguard their properties. Contact us today to learn more about our facility management services and how we can assist in your hurricane preparedness for the upcoming season.

Taking proactive steps now can help ensure your business is prepared for hurricane season, reducing risks and ensuring a faster recovery. Don’t wait until it’s too late – start preparing today!


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