If your place of business is in a hurricane-prone area, such as Florida or anywhere along the southeastern coasts of the United States, it’s very important to be properly prepared for hurricane season.
The Atlantic hurricane season is officially from June 1 to November 30, so take advantage of the off season to brush up on your hurricane preparedness knowledge.
How To Prepare for a Hurricane: What the Experts Say
Things You Should Do to Prepare Your Business for Hurricane Season
You may already have a hurricane preparedness plan in place for you and your family, but don’t overlook your commercial property’s hurricane readiness.
Steps to take before hurricane season:
- Print important documents
- Put together an emergency supply kit
- Make a plan for if a hurricane hits
- Be prepared to evacuate
- Have different ways to receive alerts
- Protect glass with storm damage mitigation barriers
Gathering Important Documents
The CDC recommends printing out a list of emergency numbers, insurance information, and any other important information that’s online or on your computer before a hurricane hits.
That way, if power outages and storm damage prevent you from accessing electronic files, you still have access to that critical information.
This would also be a good time to review your insurance policies and make sure you have adequate coverage, in case your business gets damaged during the next storm season.
Making an Emergency Kit
Just like you probably have an emergency kit at home and/or in your car, it’s important to have one somewhere on your commercial property as well.
Stock your business with basic items like food, water, and medical supplies. Make sure you have enough for all your employees, so if they get stranded inside your property during or after a storm they have the essentials.
Your kit should also include flashlights (with extra batteries) and a fire extinguisher. Other useful items to put with your emergency supplies are emergency blankets, a hand crank radio, and some basic tools.
Coming up with a Plan
Create a plan for what to do when a storm hits that includes things like how to prepare the building, where anyone inside should shelter, and how to evacuate if necessary. Share the plan with all your employees to get everyone on the same page.
Make sure everyone has your contact info as well as emergency numbers. Show everyone where the emergency kit is and let them know what’s in it, so they know where to find things if they get caught in the building during a storm.
Preparing for Evacuation
Look up the nearest storm shelters and different routes to get to them, in case you have to evacuate during a hurricane. Plan an evacuation route out of your commercial facility and come up with a backup plan.
There are different apps you can download to receive real-time weather alerts for your area from the National Weather Service, such as the FEMA app. It’s also a good idea to have a portable radio or two in your office to listen to weather alerts just before a storm.
Protecting Windows and Doors from Storm Damage
During a tropical storm or hurricane, glass doors and windows are the most vulnerable points of any commercial property. That’s why the best thing you can do to prepare for a hurricane is ensure that your building’s glass is properly protected.
Ways to fortify glass against storm damage:
- Plywood boards
- Hurricane fabric
- Storm panels and hurricane shutters
- Impact windows
One of the most common ways homeowners and business owners secure their property before a storm is by boarding up windows with plywood sheets. We won’t deny that plywood does create a durable barrier to protect your glass, but this often isn’t a practical solution.
For starters, if you have a large commercial facility, the time and labor that goes into installing plywood makes it completely impractical. Not only that, but you’ll be blocking out all natural light, cutting off all visibility, and making your business look shut down.
If a storm passes by without even hitting your building, then it was all for nothing. Not to mention you now have to take all the boards down again and find somewhere to store them.
Commercial products like hurricane fabric, storm panels, and hurricane shutters provide slightly better solutions, but they still require you to put them in place before a storm. Which brings us to our last option: impact windows.
We strongly believe impact windows are the best hurricane mitigation barriers for commercial buildings. They provide much more durability and strength than plywood and have none of its disadvantages.
Benefits of impact windows for hurricane protection:
- One-time installation
- Permanent, 24/7 storm damage protection
- Completely clear (look and feel like regular windows)
- Virtually unbreakable
- Protect against other threats (forced entry, burglary, rioting, looting, vandalism, smash-and-grab theft)
- Retain appearance of property
- Let natural light in
- Allow full visibility
When we talk with commercial clients about hurricane impact windows, we always recommend ArmorPlast™ AP25 to them. AP25 is a containment-grade polycarbonate glazing shield that can be retrofitted right over your existing glass without noticeably changing its outward appearance.
Because it has the strength of polycarbonate (and contains no glass at all) it is virtually unbreakable and is much stronger than other types of safety and security glass available on the market.
These glazing shields are impervious to wind damage and can easily bounce away storm debris hurled by hurricane-force winds, keeping your glass doors and windows intact and the interior of your building protected.
Whereas standard window glass and many types of strengthened glass can still break apart and expose your business during a heavy storm, AP25 won’t even crack after multiple high-force impacts.
Now That You Know How To Prepare for a Hurricane…
Let Us Help You Protect Your Windows During a Hurricane