No one likes to think that a hurricane could damage or even destroy the business they worked so hard to build. Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t discriminate. When a hurricane hits, it can take down anything in its path. Although you can’t control severe weather, you can take steps to protect your business should such a disastrous event occur in the future. With hurricane season kicking off June 1st, now is the time to prepare.
Be Sure You Know What Your Policy Covers
If you haven’t reviewed your property insurance policy in a while, now is a good time to do so. It may not provide the coverage for hurricane damage that you think it does. For example, many property damage insurance policies don’t cover damage caused by flooding. You would need a separate policy for that, which you should be able to find through the National Flood Insurance Program. You will also want to have your policy number and contact information for your agent available in a readily accessible space. Place these items in a waterproof container for extra security.
Take a Complete Inventory of Your Business and Include Pictures
It’s essential that you know what you own if you need to make a claim for hurricane damage. Be sure to take a picture of every piece of equipment and part of the building as it normally looks. If a hurricane should hit later, dated photos provide proof that the hurricane caused the damage and not something else. Be sure to include the approximate value of each item you record as well. You may even want to shoot a video of your building as it stands today.
Arrange a Roof Inspection
The roof is often the most valuable component of a commercial building structure in terms of financial value and the protection it provides. It’s also at the highest risk of damage during a hurricane. Performing routine maintenance on the roof several times a year can help to reduce its vulnerability to severe weather damage. Scheduling a professional inspection is a good idea because it helps you pinpoint the problem areas such as tears, cracks, bubbling, and areas of water pooling or leaking.
Create a Hurricane Plan and Implement It with Your Employees
Your employees may never entertain the idea of a hurricane hitting the building. It’s up to you to create a written plan and require your employees to practice it on a regular schedule. You might also consider designating at least one other person from top management to practice and implement the plan if necessary. If it’s safe to do so, allow your employees to go home to secure their own personal property after the National Weather Service announces a potential hurricane.
Protect the Building if You Have Warning
If you know that a hurricane is coming and the National Weather Service hasn’t required everyone to take immediate cover, you may have some time to secure items from your building. This will prevent them from causing further property damage or injuring people. Some examples include outdoor signs, dumpsters, display racks, antennas, and portable buildings and trailers. You should have already purchased tie-downs that you can use to secure these items.
Get Help Preparing a Hurricane Plan for Your Business
The tips above barely scratch the surface when it comes to hurricane planning and protecting your business should severe weather strike. We invite you to schedule an appointment with Business Partner Alliance today for help with this important task. Your consultant will cover all areas of hurricane planning, including how to apply for state and federal disaster assistance if you need it.