In May 2021, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released data called new “climate normals” forecasting temperature, rain, and other weather-related factors for the next 30 years.
The bad news is that everything is going up: temperatures, higher precipitation, and increased weather volatility. The good news is that because we know about these updated “climate normals,” we can prepare our businesses accordingly.
Commercial disaster recovery should not be an afterthought. And while 2021’s hurricane season is upon us already, it’s never too late to consider what businesses can do to mitigate the damage.
Here, we share some helpful guidelines for you and your business to follow as you prepare for stormy weather.
Assess your Business – Not the Weather
Assume the worst when it comes to hurricane weather. Focus rather on assessing how prepared your business is to cope if worse comes to worst:
- People: Consider your staff and all the people related to your business. Has the pandemic affected where your team is working from and how often they come into work? Do you have an updated employee contact list if you need to dispatch an emergency evacuation plan or something of the sort? Having solid HR policies that can help your staff cope with the fallout of a natural disaster is crucial. With more and more people working from home nowadays, IT failures can cause a communication breakdown. Ideally, you want staff that remains unaffected if your office building has been hard hit.
- Suppliers: Next to consider are the other related businesses that serve you. How will your supply chain be affected if you have power outages or service delivery issues in your area? As part of your plan, it makes good business sense to touch base with your suppliers and/or key customers and inform them of your procedures. By doing this, you will be presenting yourself as a united front against the elements. It shows a strong social responsibility to communicate the need to prepare.
- Physical assets: Where and how is your data stored? Is it backed up to the cloud? Are your legal documents kept in a safe on the ground floor? What is often most crippling in the aftermath of a hurricane and a commercial disaster recovery is the extended downtime that results from not enough foresight having been given to the equipment that is required to run your business if it’s impacted by a disaster. Having the right commercial property insurance is also key to ensuring that a hurricane is not the downfall for your entire business.
Getting your Commercial Property Hurricane Ready
When it comes to protecting your commercial property, many of the same rules apply as to what you would do in the event of a hurricane approaching your house. These are:
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio so you can get updates. Learn your area’s flooding and hurricane evacuation routes and where the shelters are.
- Other important hurricane resources are the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA’s) site with preparedness tips and Weather Underground, which has the latest weather and storm updates. And, of course, there is the National Hurricane Center with reliable information on storm activity.
- Have an evacuation plan for your employees that is also aligned with the ones that they need to have for their family. Who is going where whenever the weather turns foul? Understanding your local area’s evacuation routes affords you, and your business, the opportunity to act as responsible members of your community.
- An emergency kit is essential. Include water and non-perishable food for three days and a can opener, a battery-powered radio with spare batteries, flashlights, first aid kit, whistle, dust mask, plastic sheeting, and duct-tape for making a shelter, moist towelettes and garbage bags for sanitation, pliers to turn off utilities, local maps, and cell phone and charger.
- Why not consider Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT’s Priority Disaster Response Program? Here, we partner with our commercial customers to develop an emergency response plan. It allows us to provide a better overall experience for our customers should a disaster strike, because all of the logistics are taken care of ahead of time.
What To Do if your Business Building is at High Risk of Flooding
Do dams and levees pose an increased risk to your commercial property? Consider the following practical preventative measures:
- Tidy up inside. Move all valuables to a higher floor or raise them off the ground.
- Protect electrical appliances from a storm by buying a surge protector and unplugging what you can during the storm.
- Tidy up outside. Clean the roof, gutters, and lawn of your commercial property. You don’t want that company umbrella hurtling headlong into your glass-fronted boardroom. Keep trees trimmed back and anything loose and lying around tied down. Are there any unaccounted-for vehicles in your parking area?
- Reinforce the perimeter. If your business is in a high-risk area, install permanent storm shutters to your windows as strong winds regularly shatter windows. Secure any doors with a brace kit or plywood to protect them from flood damage. Sandbags help too.
- Just before the storm arrives (i.e., when it is hours away), charge your cell phone, put gas in your vehicle if you haven’t got a full tank, and listen for weather updates and evacuation instructions.
How Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT Can Help
Our property damage restoration company has re-established businesses and helped restore communities for decades. At Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT, we offer commercial storm damage restoration services that have helped thousands of commercial customers recover from property and water damage – both big and small.
Learn more about our storm recovery services. Our expertise in getting businesses back on their feet after a hurricane, by providing superior commercial storm damage restoration service.