With the 2021 hurricane season fast approaching, now is the time to evaluate how prepared your business is for a storm hitting your area.
Whether you run a corporate office, a retail store, or a small business of any type, there are steps you should take to ensure business continuity after a storm.
Hurricane preparedness for businesses can be broken down into three areas: people (i.e. employees), assets (i.e. products, equipment, data, etc.), and location (i.e. physical property).
We’ve put together some examples of hurricane preparedness checklists for each of these key parts of your business to help you weather the storm.
Examples of Hurricane Preparedness Checklists for Businesses
Commercial Hurricane Preparedness Checklist: People
A company is nothing without its employees, so take steps to make sure all of your people will be safe during a hurricane. That way, when the storm passes you can get back to business as usual.
What to do before hurricane season:
- Make sure you have updated contact info for stakeholders
- Know where each employee is located at any given time
- Put a mass notification system in place
- Create an emergency communications plan
Stakeholders include customers/clients, employees, suppliers, and investors or business partners. Make sure you’re able to contact all relevant stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition back to business after a storm.
Make sure you also know where all of your employees are at any given time, meaning what their schedule is, where they physically work in your facility, where they live if they work from home/remotely, and where they’ll be if they’re travelling.
Create some kind of mass notification system and emergency communications plan to keep people updated and connected before/during/after a storm. Employees will be looking to management for guidance and to stay informed.
Commercial Hurricane Preparedness Checklist: Assets
Assets are everything that’s essential to your business besides your personnel and location. In other words, your business wouldn’t be able to run without them, so ensure that all your assets are prepared for a hurricane to prevent heavy post-storm financial losses.
Things to do before storm season:
- Know where all your assets are located
- Determine what kind of physical protection is available for assets
- Prioritize asset protection by how essential they are to business
- Store backup data offsite
- Know which assets are owned and make sure they’re insured if possible
- Determine what your responsibility is if any leased assets get damaged
In order to protect your assets, you must know where all of them are. If you keep things off site, such as in a warehouse or at a secondary facility, make sure you know what is where.
It’s also important to determine what your options are for protecting physical assets. Can you move them to a more secure site? Can you secure them in a different part of the building? Decide what your most important assets are and come up with a plan.
As for securing data, make sure all your digital data is secured off site (i.e. in the cloud). If you have physical data, such as files, you can scan them and store copies online.
Finally, make sure you’re aware of which assets are owned vs leased. For owned assets, insure them against hurricanes whenever possible. For anything lease, find out what you’re responsible for if they get damaged during a storm.
Commercial Hurricane Preparedness Checklist: Location
While you can move people and assets around before a storm to keep them safe, your physical location is something you can’t change. That’s why you absolutely must implement security measures to fortify your physical property against storm damage.
What you need to do before hurricane season:
- Determine what the biggest risk to your facility is
- Create an evacuation plan
- Know how fortified your property is
- Ensure your roof is in good condition
- Secure outdoor items
- Reinforce window glass
Evaluate your commercial facility’s location and physical security to decide what the biggest risks are. Does it have a lot of vulnerable glass doors and windows? Is it close enough to the shore to worry about storm surge? Get a professional threat assessment to help you with this.
Make an evacuation plan for getting out of your building and share it with all of your employees. Print maps of the best routes to get out of the building and include a meeting place for people to regroup outside. Your property management company or building security can help with this.
Get your roof inspected and have any problems repaired to avoid problems during a storm. Ensure outdoor items like furniture, signs, lights, and roof-mounted equipment are all securely bolted down so there’s less of a risk of things becoming flying storm debris.
Finally, reinforce glass doors and windows to prevent them from breaking due to wind damage and storm debris impacts. You can do this with hurricane shutters or storm panels, but we highly recommend installing impact windows.
Our coastal clients are increasingly turning to ArmorPlast™ AP25 to fortify their commercial buildings against storm damage.
AP25 is a polycarbonate glazing shield that can be retrofitted over your existing glass to provide 24/7 storm damage protection without noticeably changing your property’s appearance.
These shields look and feel very similar to glass, but have the virtually unbreakable impact resistance of polycarbonate.
Benefits of AP25:
- Crystal clear
- Virtually unbreakable
- One-time installation
- Permanent hurricane mitigation barrier
- Protects against forced entry and more
News of an approaching hurricane is never welcome, but with the right preparation you can relax a little knowing that your business’s post-storm continuity is protected.
That way, you can take care of yourself and your loved ones and get back to running your business when the skies are calm again.
Our team of glass security experts is always happy to discuss the storm damage mitigation solutions we offer with you or your local glass contractor. Give us a call today to find out how we can help fortify your property before the next hurricane season!